Bank CEOs Fooled by Notorious Email Prankster

No sensitive information was shared
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 13, 2017 11:37 AM CDT
Bank CEOs Fooled by Notorious Email Prankster
Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein in 2014.   (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

Falling for a phishing scam is bad. Falling for a phishing scam when you're the CEO of a major bank, well, that's worse—and the unfortunate reality for Goldman Sachs' Lloyd Blankfein and Citigroup's Michael Corbat. The unsuspecting chief executives, along with Citigroup consumer-banking chief Stephen Bird, responded to emails sent by a prankster posing as bank executives over the weekend, according to both Goldman and Citigroup, though none revealed any sensitive information. In fact, it seems the goal of the scheme was to embarrass the bankers rather than steal information, reports the Wall Street Journal, noting one email sent to Blankfein referred to a comment he'd made about President Trump, not bank dealings.

The bankers were just the latest high-profile victims of the prankster, known on Twitter as @SINON_REBORN. Last month, the same individual got Bank of England Gov. Mark Carney to joke about his predecessor's drinking habits, reports the Guardian. Around the same time, British bank Barclays was forced to tighten its email security after CEO Jes Staley responded to a dubious email he believed was from his chairman, per the Financial Times. The prankster told the paper he included "sent from iPhone" in emails so the absence of legal jargon wouldn't raise suspicions. "Keep it short … and ideally reference something that will ring true," he said. "People accept a bit of bizarre once they feel they're in the saddle of the communication." (Watch out for this scam.)

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