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NIBA chief calls out cyber crooks who impersonated him

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National Insurance Brokers Association (NIBA) CEO Dallas Booth has urged members to take digital threats more seriously after cyber criminals used his name to send hundreds of emails asking for “urgent help” from business contacts.

Mr Booth says the fake email came from an unknown address, using a process where his name was inserted as the sender. The aim was to try to start a conversation with recipients.

“I am not sure what the ultimate intention was – infiltration of computer systems or fraud or some other crazy outcome,” Mr Booth said.

“The key message is this:  there appears to be an increasing number of fraudulent users of names and email addresses, and attempts to hack into computer systems for illegal and destructive purposes.

“Serious damage has been done in the insurance industry in recent times, and so far as I can see the risks have never been higher.”

He says now is the time for NIBA members to review the safety of their business IT systems. Staff should also be trained to spot and deal with fraudulent emails.

Members should also look into investing in a good cyber insurance program if they have not already done so, Mr Booth says.

Law firm Clyde and Co has praised Mr Booth’s decision to share the incident with NIBA members.

“All too often businesses are shamed into thinking that they are the only organisation impacted by a particular cyber risk or scam,” Partner John Moran, who heads the firm’s cyber incident response practice, told

“Open and frank conversation among businesses about their experiences and how they can be more resilient to cyber risk is the only way that we raise the bar for all.”

He says email impersonation and social engineering “are here to stay”.