Updated: Feb 18, 2019
The office interiors consultancy is on the 30th floor in the business district. Both business partners, Gabe and Angela, highly regarded. The hallway is flanked by floor to ceiling glass walled offices, tastefully furnished.
Buying an Office
Gabe and Angela saved a deposit to buy a new office. Angela's wealthy parents offered them a loan at a lower interest rate than the bank. The deposit and loan totalling $2,000,000 are in their investment account. Gabe found a beautiful office which they want to make an offer on.
Angela had a cyber security system installed to prevent bank account hacking. Gabe sometimes casually logged in from home. On their bank statement he pointed out to Angela their $500,000 deposit, the $1,500,000 loan from her parents and a $20,000 debit last week, followed by $20,000 every day since then. He asked Angela what these amounts were as he didn't recognise the bank account numbers. Angela told him that she never touches things like that. She said, "What are you telling me, Gabe, that $140,000 has been transferred out of our account and you don't know where it is? You better explain what's going on right now".
He called the bank and it was bad news. The funds had gone offshore and the bank advised Gabe to notify the authorities. He asked if he's been hacked. The bank would have to investigate. He asked if the bank covered their loss and they said it was subject to the investigation. Gabe asked how long this would take and they said up to a few months. He froze the account.
Gabe to Blame
Angela said they had hack proof security. She wanted an audit to see who logged in. "You don't need to," said Gabe, "It was me. I logged in from home a couple of times. Sorry, I didn't think it was a risk but I didn't transfer any funds. I'm getting Harold the security consultant in urgently."
The Security Consultant
Gabe brought Harold into the boardroom where Angela was waiting and asked him to explain what happened. Harold showed an example from a training program on his laptop.
He asked Angela to change the password on the training login screen. He popped up a keylogger he had running and they saw Angela's new password. Any hacker who installed a keylogger would see passwords too.
Harold showed how keyloggers can be installed by imitating a government issued email. If you clicked any link in the message, the keylogger installed.
Gabe Feeling the Pressure
Harold said the hacker would need the bank passcode sent by SMS. He asked about Gabe's phone and it had been quiet for a week. Harold explained that the hacker transferred the mobile number to a different Telco sim card, now in a phone intercepting the passcodes. Gabe was holding his head in his hands. Harold could get extra licences for the home computers. Gabe asked why they weren't covered from the outset. Harold said it was included in his proposal. Angela agreed and reminded Gabe they removed personal use to keep costs down. She smiled at Harold as he left, thanked him and said she would confirm by email.
Angela told Gabe he had put it all on the line, risking everything including the $1,500,000 her parents entrusted them with. He apologised. Angela said the only way forward was to get the additional security for home or remove his access to the bank accounts. He shook his head and said, "I'll make up for this".
Gabe spent every spare minute looking at offices for sale until he found one better than their first choice. The listed price was $50,000 less and he negotiated it down by $90,000, making up for his $140,000 error of judgement in his own unique way. Angela loved the new office and could see that Gabe had learned his lesson.
Industry: Cyber Security.