Magazine article Government Finance Review

Helping Protect Retirement Plans from Cybercrime

Magazine article Government Finance Review

Helping Protect Retirement Plans from Cybercrime

Article excerpt

Identity theft and related crimes are on the rise, and they can have a devastating impact on employer-sponsored retirement plans, such as 401(k)s. Retirement plans can have very large balances compared to other cyber targets such as bank accounts, and therefore have become quite attractive to cyber criminals, according to Ice Miller. Cybercrime related to retirement plans can occur as a result of threats such as phishing, ransomware, "social engineering," and wire transfer fraud. "For example, a cybercriminal may send out phishing e-mails in the hope of installing ransomware on the recipient's system, which can then spread throughout the company. These phishing attacks will look like authentic e-mails from a known outside company, a package delivery service, or even an executive within the retirement plan. The fake e-mail contains a link, which, when clicked, triggers ransomware that locks the company's system or files until a ransom is paid."

Phishing can also target members of the retirement plan, "disguised as an authentic e-mail from the retirement company, claiming the recipient's account has been compromised and will be closed unless the recipient verifies some information. …

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