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Fearsome Amex Phishing Scam

We know this horror story: A trusted character is not who (or what) others think he is. Typically, movie audiences get to see the creature's eyes glow or go all black when the onscreen victim isn't looking. Devils behind a recent phishing scam that targeted American Express accounts, however, were fiendishly clever about hiding their tell-tale signs of evil.

Sometimes, We’re the Fiends

A new incarnation of a 1970s thriller, Westworld, has begun airing on HBO to rave reviews and much excitement. The original film featured an android cowboy (Yul Brynner) walking around shooting people. In this new series, humans (so-far) are the killers; cruelly dispatching artificially intelligent and increasingly sentient android inhabitants of a western-themed amusement park.

In Other Tales of Terror

As frightening as the recent Amex phishing scam was, it wasn't the only monster-related incident to come to light during the past few weeks. Here are a few of the headliners:

On September 22, Yahoo revealed that data from at least 500 million user accounts might have been stolen in one of the largest cybersecurity breaches ever.

Привет из России. Вы были взломаны. (“Greetings from Russia. You’ve Been Hacked.”)

Sometimes a theme asserts itself. We didn't start out to make Russia a focal point of this newsletter but once we selected our topics, we couldn't help but notice a commonality. We'll begin with something you may have heard about -- the hacking of Democratic Party emails by an organization known as Guccifer 2.0. US Intelligence officials and at least one cybersecurity firm believe cyberattacks on the Democratic National Convention and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee were likely carried out by hackers affiliated with the Russian government.