FBI: Criminal Actors Use Business Email Compromise to Steal Large Shipments of Food Products and Ingredients

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Food and Drug Administration Office of Criminal Investigations (FDA OCI), and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) are releasing this joint Cybersecurity Advisory (CSA) to advise the Food & Agriculture sector about recently observed incidents of criminal actors using business email compromise (BEC) to steal shipments of food products and ingredients valued at hundreds of thousands of dollars.

While BEC is most commonly used to steal money, in cases like this criminals spoof emails and domains to impersonate employees of legitimate companies to order food products. The victim company fulfills the order and ships the goods, but the criminals do not pay for the products. Criminals may repackage stolen products for individual sale without regard for food safety regulations and sanitation practices, risking contamination or omitting necessary information about ingredients, allergens, or expiration dates. Counterfeit goods of lesser quality can damage a company’s reputation.

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Source: U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation Cyber Division