It appears no corporate office is safe from the dangers of hacking and phishing, even the one running the Most Magical Place on Earth.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, it appears an employee at Reedy Creek Improvement District’s main office, which handles building codes, road construction, fire rescue, and landscaping throughout Disney-owned land, mistakenly wired $722,000 to what they believed was a legitimate landscaping vendor (BrightView Landscaping) earlier this year. The email hacking issues began back in February, when they were supposedly directed by a vendor to make payments to a new Capital One account, which ended up being a fraudulent.
Turns out the employee had been duped by two Louisiana men who were ultimately arrested and charged with with wire fraud after being accused of diverting the money into a Shreveport bank account, according to Detective Doug Smith of the Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office, who also serves on the FBI Task Force.
The men were Patrick Babila, 33, and Thadius Pugh, 34, and they’ve also been charged with hacking into a California man’s emails and misleading him to deposit $50,000 to an account in Pugh’s name thinking he was making a legitimate payment towards a investment subscription.
These kinds of hacking issues, like phishing, whaling, and business email compromise plague offices globally, and can cause permanent financial loss. While RCID was able to recover some of the money back from the fraudulent wire, according to the report, the government suffered a permanent loss of $93,658.