Swift Fan’s Spending Spree, WPP CEO’s Deepfake Scam, Russian Ransomware Extorts Millions!

DMARC Report
DMARC Report
Swift Fan’s Spending Spree, WPP CEO’s Deepfake Scam, Russian Ransomware Extorts Millions!

We are back again with another round of cybersecurity news that will keep you updated about the latest scams and frauds around the globe. Nowadays, even being a Taylor Swift fan, or a Swiftie, as they call it in slang, is not safe—thanks to threat actors and their scams. Also, even industry biggies and businessmen are being targeted by cybercriminals. Lastly, the US arrested yet another Russian hacker who managed to extort $700,000 from naive US businessmen.

Our aim is to prepare you against any cyber mishap by keeping you well-versed with the latest global happenings.

Keep reading to stay alert and vigilant!

A Swiftie Father Got Duped By a Scammer!

A doting father to his 12 year Swiftie daughter got duped by a fake Facebook page. All Scott wanted was to surprise his daughter Sophie with tickets to Taylor Swift’s concert at Murrayfield Stadium. He came across a fake “Taylor Swift ticket page” and paid 220 pounds in haste. The daddy-daughter duo received the biggest shock of their lives when the security staff at the concert gate informed them about the tickets being fake. 

fake page

Little Sophie was heartbroken, and her dad was devastated and shocked. He went on to say that his love for his daughter and excitement to make her happy made him oblivious to the warning signs. He even admitted that the ticket seller contacted him three times over the phone and pressured him to make the payment soon so that they could send out the tickets to him as soon as possible

The father-daughter duo was stopped at the gate of Murrayfield and were informed about the fake tickets. The Ticketmaster personally checked all the correspondence and surprised Sophie with the last 2 tickets remaining. 

Scott also got back the money immediately in his bank account. 

Secure ticket-buying practices involve avoiding third-party ticket-selling websites or individual sellers. Also, one must avoid sharing their credit card information over phone calls. Also, it is never recommended to buy tickets and make payments through gift cards. Implementing email authentication protocols like SPF, DKIM and DMARC can further enhance the security of your transactions.

WPP CEO Fell Prey To Deepfake Scam!

The CEO of WPP, the biggest advertising group across the globe, fell prey to a deepfake scam recently. Mark Read, the CEO, shared a detailed email thereby warning other C-suit executives and companies against similar scams and frauds.  


The threat actors managed to create a legitimate WhatsApp account by using publicly available images of Mark. The scammers then used the same WhatsApp account to create a Microsoft Teams meeting between a senior WPP executive and Mark. The threat actors then used an AI-based voice clone for Mark and his old YouTube footage.

Further, the threat actors tried impersonating Read by keeping the camera off. Instead they used the chat window and tried to extort sensitive details and money on the pretext of setting up a new business. Fortunately, things did not go the way the scammers wanted them to. The vigilance of the WPP executives and involved parties ensured that the scammers got no money or data out of this deepfake scam.

Deepfake frauds were limited to spreading political misinformation, pornography, and online blackmail. However, now deepfake technology is being used to target the corporate world extensively. Generative AI and voice cloning technology are commonly used to bypass the security systems of big and small companies and organizations. 

The only way out is to be extra careful while you are dealing with anything digital– be it an online financial transaction or a full-fledged e-meeting.

Russian Ransomware Hacker Managed To Extort Millions From US Businessmen! 

A 20-year-old Russian hacker– Ruslan Astamirov, worked closely in a campaign that managed to extort millions from as many as 1400 innocent victims. The ransomware hacker is a citizen of the Russian-controlled Chechen Republic


Image sourced from privsec.harvard.edu

Astamirov used ransomware called LockBit to access sensitive data from different business servers. He then locked the systems and demanded money in return. He threatened to leak the data in case any businessman refused to pay the ransom.

Ruslan alone led the ransomware attack on 5 different Florida and Virginia-based businessmen. He even managed to dupe businesses in Japan, Kenya, and France. 

When one of the victims refused to pay the ransom, Ruslan leaked the data on the public server of LockBit. Another victim paid a whopping $700,000 to safeguard their sensitive data.

As per the Department of Homeland Security, around 16% of the ransomware attacks against local and state governments are powered by LockBit. 

Ruslan has been arrested by the federal law enforcement team and will be facing a federal judge. Not only Russia but even China-backed threat actors have managed to attack the US Navy systems. The USA is prepared to go to any extent and leverage all the resources at its disposal to disrupt cybercrime. 

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