While other types of attacks are difficult to quantify in terms of dollar loss, most can be offset by a range of insurance products.

A type of wire fraud called “business email compromise” is growing in prominence and is almost impossible to stop, resulting in losses of $26 billion in the last three years, according to new research released Tuesday by the FBI. That makes it one of the costliest cyber crimes against corporations.

Business email compromise involves a criminal impersonating a senior executive or trusted business partner, reaching out to a member of their staff, and convincing that person to wire money to an account to pay a debt or fulfill a purchase order. Like “sextortion” by email or real estate wire fraud, the attacks require only rudimentary computer knowledge.

Most cyber-attacks can be offset by a range of insurance products. But in this type of scheme, the money, once wired, is not typically covered by the sending bank, there are few insurance options to recover it and there is little law enforcement can do to claw it back. It’s gone.

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