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New Board Members of the Anti-Phishing Working Group Join the Fight Against Attacks on US Democracy and $3B in Internet Crime Business Losses

January 2017 by CLEMENT OLIN

The Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG) is pleased to announce the appointment of three new members to its Board of Directors. Brad Wardman, PhD of PayPal, Dave Piscitello of ICANN, and Pat Cain of The Cooper Cain Group have joined the APWG Board of Directors. These board members join David Jevans and Peter Cassidy to expand the board to five members, all experts and practitioners in defending against Internet crime and identity theft.

The expansion of the APWG board to include additional members, with specialist knowledge of and experience with investigating and fighting cybercrime, is recognition of the growing complexity and scale of Internet crime today and the challenges in responding to this global threat.

Phishing Attacks Affected The 2016 US Presidential Election

APWG Chairman David Jevans said “Internet crime and phishing has impacted democracy in the 2016 US Presidential elections with the DNC email hacking, and allegations of Russian hacking influencing the US elections. Phishing attacks were the way that these attacks originated.” Mr. Jevans continued, “We are thrilled to have these three experts join the Board of Directors of APWG. Together, we will help over 2,000 member companies and government agencies worldwide to develop policy, best practices and data sharing to protect millions of people from these insidious attacks.”

Phishing Against Businesses Exploded in 2016, and Billions of Dollars Were Stolen

The new board members could not have arrived at a more portentous moment. 2016 saw an unprecedented increase in the sophistication of email phishing targeting businesses and ransomware. Business Email Compromise (BEC) phishing, also know as CEO phishing or impostor email, is a new scheme costing companies around the world billions of dollars by targeting enterprises’ operational authorities (e.g. comptroller, administrator) and executives (e.g. CEO, CFO). Ransomware attacks are equally pernicious attacks that target every Internet user: victims of ransomware phishing email unintentionally install encrypting malware on their computers and are then coerced into paying a ransom to criminals to recover (decrypt) their data.

BEC phishing is estimated by the FBI to have cost businesses 3 Billion dollars by the end of 2016. Company executives and finance staff are tricked into making large payments to bank accounts controlled by attacking imposters. These attacks have ranged in size from $20,000 to more than $100 Million dollars per occurrence. Ransomware is estimated to have cost users nearly $1 Billion in 2016 alone!

Expanding the Board of Directors of APWG

Recognizing its responsibilities for expanding the operational capabilities of the APWG, the institution has expanded its board of directors with sector-leading directors of global repute, influence and authority who can help guide the organization in its next stage of growth. The new members of the Board of Directors of APWG are:

Brad Wardman, Head of Threat Intelligence at PayPal, serves as chairman of the APWG Symposium on Electronic Crime Research. Brad is deeply versed in detecting, tracking, and fighting cybercrime, with a publication record that has pioneered ground-breaking discussions on cybercrime detection and mitigation. Brad is the inventor of 7 issued security patents and has filed an additional 10 patents with the US Patent Office.

Dave Piscitello, Vice President Security and ICT Coordination at ICANN, is an Associate Fellow at the Geneva Centre for Security Policy. Mr. Piscitello has over 35 years of experience in information communications and technology, cyber security, and cybercrime investigations. At ICANN, he and his team coordinate global collaborative efforts by security, operations and law enforcement communities to mitigate Domain Name System abuse and malicious uses of Domain names for the Internet. Mr. Piscitello represents ICANN in global cybersecurity forums, including the Commonwealth Cybercrime Initiative and the OECD Security Experts Group.

Pat Cain, CEO Cooper Cain Group, is a Resident Research Fellow of the Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG), and President of The Cooper-Cain Group, a Boston, Massachusetts, USA based Internet security consultancy. He has been involved in information security development and operations for over thirty years and drives APWG’s data policy initiatives. He is a Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA), a Certified Information System Manager (CISM) and an associate member of the American Bar Association. Mr. Cain led an effort in the IETF to standardize phishing and electronic crime reports (RFC 5901), participates in many data-sharing initiatives, has served on a United Nations identity-related crimes experts panel, and is an observer to the Cybercrime Convention Committee (T-CY) of the Council of Europe.




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