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Austrian firm fires CEO after €50-million cyber scam

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Austrian firm fires CEO after €50-million cyber scam
Facebook/FACC
12:02 CEST+02:00
Austrian aircraft parts maker FACC said Wednesday that it has fired its chief executive of 17 years after cyber criminals stole some €50 million in a so-called "fake president" scam.

FACC, whose customers include Airbus, Boeing and Rolls-Royce, said that its supervisory board sacked Walter Stephan with immediate effect after he "severely violated his duties". 

Press reports said that in January a FACC employee wired around €50 million, equivalent to almost 10 percent of annual revenues, after receiving emailed instructions from someone posing as Stephan.

By the time the firm, which began life making skis before expanding into aeronautics, realised the mistake, it was too late. The money had disappeared in Slovakia and Asia, according to the Standard newspaper.

The company said Wednesday that the scam, also known as "bogus boss" or "CEO fraud" and increasingly popular with sophisticated organised criminals, cost it €41.9 million in its 2015/16 business year.

It has managed to claw back €10.9 million, it said, but still posted a pretax loss of €23.4 million. In February the company also sacked its finance chief because of the slip-up.

They was no suggestion that either executive was involved in the scam.

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