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Fiji And China Business Share Tips On Hackers

There has been a continuous increase in the number of cyber-crime, particularly hacking, regarding trade between Fijian and Chinese companies which has been brought to light. Jim Jixing Yang, of
05 Mar 2018 10:33
Fiji And China Business Share Tips On Hackers
Members of the China Chamber of Commerce in Fiji at Nadi Chamber of Commerce and Industry Forum at the Nalagi Hotel in Nadi on Saturday, March 3, 2018

There has been a continuous increase in the number of cyber-crime, particularly hacking, regarding trade between Fijian and Chinese companies which has been brought to light.

Jim Jixing Yang, of the China Chamber of Commerce in Fiji while speaking on Early Warning against the Crime Hacking Trade at the Nadi Chamber of Commerce and Industry forum on Saturday, shared some of the common practices of hackers that could help local business people in circumstances of hacking.

The event was held at the Nalagi Hotel on Queens Road, Nadi.

“Hackers begin by illegally gaining access to the emails of the trading companies and pounce on the background information of the business, as well as the contracts,” Mr Jim said.

“Hackers often portray the identification of companies involved (e.g. Chinese) without the knowledge of the company itself.

“Therefore they gain from this misconception. Instances could include having hackers (international or locally based) pretending to be associates of “Chinese companies” involved, and therefore affirming transactions and contracts to be redirected or remitted to their accounts, via information they provide through hacked emails.”

Mr Jim said new bank accounts may be in a different cities and locations, sometimes even in other parts of the world.

“As there is no strict control on the names of the account beneficiaries in some banks, hackers can still use Chinese company names as the beneficiary of their accounts to gain trust of victims.

“To convince the local business partners, hackers will make similar pro forma invoices with amended bank account information with the same imitated signature and stamp.

“Upon having amended accounts information, hackers will follow up with Fijian businessmen closely and push clients to make the remittance as prompt as possible.”

Mr Jim said once the remittances arrived into hacker’s accounts, they immediately close all contacts after withdrawing all payments.

As a result, it makes it difficult to trace them back as they use bogus information initially.

“Holidays are usually a good time for hackers to make these deals because there is lack of communication between the two companies during this period,” he said.

“Consequently, some local (Fijian) businessmen eventually tend to doubt Chinese partners and contemplate that the latter companies extract more payments than they should.

“After wasting a lot of time to clarify the facts, it may be too late to retrieve the loss.

“Local businesses have much more control in prevent hacking if they can fulfill the following:

What To Do To Prevent Hacking:

In order to regulate the trade practice, companies should bear in mind that contracts and agreements are virtuous.

This includes specification of bank accounts information in contracts or Pro forma Invoices.

Businesses need to be alert in any request of altering bank accounts when asked to do so, and verify them through different channels. This is because each registered Chinese company has only one bank account related to its business license.

Furthermore, one must always make sure that money is remitted to the bank account of whom the beneficiary is labeled as exactly the company name, with bank addresses in the same city where the company has registered its location initially.

Local business people must keep close contact with the Chinese company they deal with, and authenticate important information through various channels, not only by email, but also by telephone, fax and instant messaging. Video calling through “WeChat” app or any other social media is highly recommended.

In revising Proforma Invoices, companies must be very careful as there may be some slight differences in word sizes and typography, particularly the replica of company stamps and signatures made by the hacker.

Moreover, hacking problems not only happens between emerging or developing companies just starting off, but also between long time cooperation partners. Letter of Credit (L/C) or third-party payments are safer ways for international trade. Transferring money directly (e.g. TT) is not encouraged.

Feedback:  charles.chambers@fijisun.com.fj

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