Condé Nast has been hooked by a spear phisher, who with just one e-mail managed to get the publishing giant to wire him $8 million.
According to court documents seen by Forbes, the company behind magazines such as Vogue and the New Yorker received an e-mail in November containing an "Electronic Payment Authorization" from a company called Quad Graph.
The name is similar to that of a printing company with which Condé Nast does business called Quad/Graphics.
The firm failed to spot the difference, filled out the form, returned it by fax and then sent several ACH transfers worth around $8 million from an account with JPMorgan Chase Bank.
The documents, from a civil lawsuit filed last week by the local US Attorney's Office acting on Condé Nast's behalf, reveal the publisher only realised something was amiss when, on 30 December, someone from the real Quad/Graphic got in touch asking why it had not been paid.
The authorities were called in and found that a Quad Graph account had been opened by a man called Andy Surface in late September at a branch of BBVA Compass Bank in Alvin, Texas.
The money, some of which had been transferred to an account on Surface's name, has been seized by the Secret Service but no criminal charges have yet been filed.
Conde Nast Paid $8 Million To Scammer Who Sent One Email - Forbes