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Austrian Firm Fires CEO After $56-million Cyber Scam

Austrian aircraft parts maker FACC said Wednesday that it has fired its chief executive of 17 years after cyber criminals stole some 50 million euros ($55.7 million) in a so-called "fake president" scam.

FACC, whose customers include Airbus, Boeing and Rolls-Royce, said that the its supervisory board sacked Walter Stephan with immediate effect after he "severely violated his duties".

Press reports said that in January a FACC employee wired around 50 million euros, equivalent to almost 10 percent of annual revenues, after receiving emailed instructions from someone posing as Stephan.

By the time the firm, which began life making skis before expanding into aeronautics, realized the mistake, it was too late. The money had disappeared in Slovakia and Asia, the Standard daily reported.

The company said Wednesday that the scam, also known as "bogus boss" or "CEO fraud" and increasingly popular with sophisticated organized criminals, cost it 41.9 million euros in its 2015/16 business year.

It has managed to claw back 10.9 million euros, it said, but still posted a pretax loss of 23.4 million euros. In February the company also sacked its finance chief because of the slip-up.

They was no suggestion that either executive was involved in the scam.

Related: Phishing Attacks Hit the C-Suite With High Value Scams

Related: Cybercriminals Steal $54 Million from Aircraft Parts Maker

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