Phishing Incidents in the Real World

Phishing Incidents in the Real World

In recent years, phishing email scams have taken a big toll on consumer data and trust in practically every industry. These phishing attempts can cause major data breaches that cost organizations millions of dollars in financial loss and damage their reputation for years to come.

The total number of phishing sites in a three-month period in 2019 was more than 266,000. This represents a 46-percent rise from the previous three months in the year, and almost double what the last quarter of 2018 saw. What’s more, in addition to the increase in phishing email volume, the number of companies that were attacked by scammers was up a notable rate.

These email attacks, in which a scammer poses as someone the recipient trusts or does business with in order to obtain sensitive information, need to be prevented through awareness, comprehensive cyber risk services insurance for certain industries, and high-level IT security.

Here are some real-world examples of phishing scams that have affected millions of users around the globe.

New York Oncology Attack

A cancer care and blood disorder service provider in Albany, New York, the New York Oncology Hematology (NYOHA) center fell victim to a major phishing scam in April of 2018. The scam consisted of email directed at employees and patients alike using a sophisticated scheme. In the email, patients and staff were prompted with a login page for NYOHA that requested any user to enter their sign-in credentials.

At the end of the breach, it was determined that one email account that contained protected health information was breached, which in turn exposed unauthorized information to the attackers. This scam highlights a growing concern among IT professionals as scammers aren’t just focused on traditional targets, such as credit card companies and banks. Instead, anyone can be a target, including health services and hospitals.

This is why healthcare clients should be made aware of cyber risk services that can help to financially back up their operations in times of loss due to phishing scams.

WhatsApp Phishing

WhatsApp is a global messaging service that serves nearly two billion users worldwide. It’s a free messaging app that connects friends, family, and business partners. That being said, WhatsApp presents plenty of potential risk for its users as attackers can leverage this communication to send out malicious links. The mobile messaging app has become a major target for cyber scammers. According to a recent report, the number of phishing attacks on the app has risen by more than 13,500 percent.


In 2014, Xoom Corporation was a target of a major phishing attack that cost more than $30 million. The international money transfer company saw a spoof email campaign that hit its financial department. After the attack, the company’s stock dropped by 14 percent, which cost an additional $31 million in its portfolio.

University of Kansas

Phishing can also target the education sector, where millions of college students’ information rests. In July of 2016, the employees of the University of Kansas opened the door to a phishing scam which ended up taking their paychecks from them. In the attack, employees saw requests to update their payroll information. This allowed phishing scammers to change the direct deposit information of those who responded to their requests.

Phishing email attacks can end up causing major data breaches and financial loss. It can also cause a major loss in trust and affect reputations long-term. Attackers have proven successful in updating their attacks, making them more and more sophisticated as time goes on. Those in the healthcare industry should be sure to update their IT security measures as well as protect their futures with cyber risk services coverage.

About Connected Risk Solutions

At Connected Risk Solutions, we use our expertise and experience to provide insurance information and programs to those who serve long-term care and senior living facilities. Since 2007, we’ve been offering insurance and risk management plans designed to help our agents give their clients the ability to achieve continued growth while simultaneously protecting against loss, containing costs and increasing profitability.  To learn more, contact us at (678) 359-6365.

About Connected Risk Solutions

At Connected Risk Solutions, we provide our agent partners with bold solutions for comprehensive insurance and risk management that are unmatched in the industry. We have market connections and collective decades of industry experience, including deep specialization in healthcare liability and managed care E&O, cyber and tech liability, management and professional liability, as well as captive management and risk management. We strive to develop creative solutions no other wholesaler can match and to help our agent partners give their clients the ability to achieve continued growth while simultaneously protecting against loss.

Our specialists, located in offices throughout the country, are responsive and engaged. To learn more, connect with us.

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