Hacker Charged With Business $100 Million Business Email Fraud Scheme

Today’s topics include a single hacker accused of stealing $100 million in a business email scam; Google's woes over ad misplacement spreads stateside; Konica Minolta develops an office animation hub for SMBs; and DataStax puts speed and efficiency into customer experience management.

The U.S. Department of Justice announced on March 21 that it is charging a lone individual in connection with a business email compromise scam that resulted in the theft of more than $100 million from a pair of U.S. corporations.

The DOJ charges come as new research indicates that business email compromises, or BECs, are an increasingly growing problem. Charged in the case is 48-year-old Evaldas Rimasauskas of Lithuania, who was arrested by Lithuanian authorities on a provisional arrest warrant.

The DOJ alleges that he conducted criminal activities from 2013 through 2015 using a BEC scam. With a BEC scam, an attacker uses email to trick a company into paying fraudulent invoices and accounts payable requests.

Google's problems with advertisers over ad misplacements on YouTube and other Google non-search properties appear to be spreading rapidly.

Last week Verizon, AT&T, Johnson & Johnson and Enterprise Rent-A-Car joined a growing list of major companies to pull advertisements from Google after revelations that their ads were being placed next to jihadist and neo-Nazi videos and other inappropriate content on YouTube.

In a statement, Verizon said it acted after being notified about its ads being placed by Google on non-sanctioned websites. AT&T and Johnson & Johnson noted similar reasons for their decisions to pull advertisements from Google.

In Berlin, Konica-Minolta recently held a press conference to introduce a new office automation product for small-and-midsize businesses called the Workplace Hub. Konica Minolta has long been known for producing copiers, scanners and laser printers for businesses of all sizes.

But this new product shows that the company wants to market systems that deliver a wider range of IT services to SMBs.

The Workplace Hub is actually designed to support the operations of an entire company, blending familiar functions with a software platform that can provide an integration base for a company’s smart devices, with access to storage, network and office management and IT services.

Customer-experience software, services and solutions are everywhere in IT news these days, starting with the world's biggest players including IBM, Facebook, Google and Adobe and trickling down to the youngest startups.

Along these lines, cloud-application data management provider DataStax has released the CX Data Solution, a set of new customer-facing tools designed to simplify and speed up interactive sales experiences between enterprises and potential customers.

At the same time, DataStax revealed new survey data from a commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting that quantifies the increasing importance of the online customer experience for businesses.

The CX Data Solution includes the DataStax Enterprise data platform plus world-class consulting and training from experts who have helped implement some of the largest real-time data architectures in the world, along with partner integration.

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