Google and Facebook are constantly warning their customers to use the internet with care because every virtual corner is a malicious person. But that does not mean that the two companies that best embody the network are currently free to become victims.
Last month, the United States Department of Justice announced the arrest of a man who had been able to wrestle $100 million from two technology giants in the country but did not say what those companies were. The Fortune, however, hunted clues and talked to people who took the magazine to information that Google and Facebook were involved – and when questioned, both confirmed.
The court says the crime was committed by a 40-year-old Lithuanian named Evaldas Rimasauskas. By 2013, he would have forged e-mail addresses, and corporate stamps on behalf of Quanta Computer, a Taiwanese company that supplies electronic components to several American brands.
For two years, Rimasauskas used this material to deceive the two giants, persuading them to make grubby transfers that he scattered to banks in eastern Europe. By the time they found out what was happening, the fraudster had already collected more than $ 100 million.
At Fortune, Facebook said it had recovered much of the money, just like Google. But none of the companies had publicly discussed the incident, which they might have to do since they have shareholders – and they did not talk to the magazine about that.
Fortune herself explains, however, that the case may not have been significant enough to merit a public note, either to investors or to the press. In smaller cases, there is no obligation to do so.