American law enforcement officers have arrested an Italian-born phisher for stealing manuscripts of books that have not yet been published. According to court documents, the defendant has been phishing for more than five years. He posed as a representative of the publishing business and stole the manuscripts of unpublished books from the victims.
Filippo Bernardini, 29, an Italian citizen who lives and works in London, was arrested at New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport last week.
According to court documents, since August 2016, he has registered more than 160 domains with names similar to the real names of literary agencies, publishing houses, and so on. The suspect then created email addresses for those domains that mimic the mailboxes of real people who work for fictitious companies.
While there were no major leaks from Bernardini’s actions, the book industry has long been aware of these phishing attacks and manuscript theft, and several book publishers have even taken steps to avoid falling victim to such incidents. In an August 2021 article by Vulture, the German book copyright holder suggested that a cybersecurity company might be behind the thefts, stealing texts under the guise of selling security software.
Bernardini successfully stole manuscripts and other texts from authors such as Margaret Atwood, Stig Larsson, Sally Rooney and actor Ethan Hawke, according to BBC, The Guardian and the New York Times. For many years, the media have been closely following the events, as their own reporters have suffered from the phisher.
You may also be interested to know that the Hacked Oxford server was used for phishing attacks on Office 365, and that The developers introduced a mechanism to combat phishing on Instagram.
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