Monthly Archives: December 2015

Cheers in 2016!

nyeAs the holiday season draws to a close and we look forward to a shiny new year, we reflect on 2015 and all the people and events that made it the memorable year that it was. Family occasions, both great and small; gatherings and special moments with old friends and new; the countless small but indelible moments that make up our days; and all the business successes and milestones we share with our clients and friends. During this season of good will to all, we would like to take just a moment and express our appreciation to you for being part of our lives this past year. We wish you a very happy, rewarding, prosperous and peaceful 2016.

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Nathaniel Spatz

Screen Shot 2015-12-14 at 10.29.04 PMWe’re always on the lookout for top banking talent, and our new underwriter, Nathaniel Spatz, certainly fits the bill.

Nathaniel has always been a hard worker. In high school, he was part of a team that won the state tennis championship. He was also part of the honor society, snagged a chance to perform at Carnegie Hall with his school’s chorale group and was in a band that won a spot to open on the Fender Stage for Fender Guitar’s 60th Anniversary celebration at the Tempe Music Festival.

He kept that momentum going in college. Nathaniel worked toward earning his undergraduate and graduate degrees at the same time, while also working as the assistant to the CFO of a community bank. Once he started his full-time banking career, he was given a senior title by age 28.

Now, as an underwriter for The Biltmore Bank of Arizona, Nathaniel is responsible for assessing and underwriting credit applications, working closely with our chief credit officer and our relationship managers. Nathaniel likes learning about different kinds of businesses by reviewing the credit applications.

“As an underwriter, I have the chance to go beyond just the numbers and also consider the story of the company when we’re reviewing a credit application,” he said.

Prior to joining our team, Nathaniel worked as a senior credit analyst at First Scottsdale Bank, an accounting specialist at Western Alliance Bancorporation and a finance intern at Torrey Pines Bank.

He earned his Bachelor’s degree in business administration from Point Loma Nazarene University and his Masters of Divinity degree in theology from Southern California Seminary. Nathaniel is a member of the Risk Management Association, and he spends one night a week giving a Bible study lecture through Community Bible Study.↗

His other interests include reading political thrillers, playing tennis (of course!) and hitting the gym. While he spent his college years in San Diego, Nathaniel grew up in Scottsdale and has no plans to leave the Phoenix area again, especially since he has so much family in the area. The great weather and relative lack of natural disasters helps too, he says.

We’re glad to hear it, Nathaniel. Welcome to the team.


↗ Linking to Non-Biltmore Bank Websites

This icon appears next to every link that directs to a third party website not affiliated with Biltmore Bank. Please be advised that if you click this link you will be taken to a website hosted by another party, where you will no longer be subject to, or under the protection of, the privacy and security policies of Biltmore Bank. We recommend that you review and evaluate the privacy and security policies of the site that you are entering. Biltmore Bank assumes no liability for the content, information, security, policies or transactions provided by these other sites.

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FBI Article: Ransomware on the Rise

We noticed that a lot of you really liked the last FBI cyber security article we ran. We’re pleased the Bureau has encouraged us to share their articles on this topic, so we’re happy to do so again. This article deals with a concerning type of cybercrime called ransomware, where a malware restricts access to the infected computer/network and demands that the operators pay some sort of ransom to regain control of their network. We hope this article is helpful to you. Please let us know if you have information or ideas on this topic that our readers may want to hear.

You can find this article, as well as many other articles you may find valuable to keep your business and staff secure against cybercrime, at this web address:

https://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/2015/january/ransomware-on-the-rise/ransomware-on-the-rise↗

For more information about fraud protection tools and product features provided by The Biltmore Bank of Arizona, please visit our website.

Ransomware on the Rise
FBI and Partners Working to Combat This Cyber Threat

Your computer screen freezes with a pop-up message—supposedly from the FBI or another federal agency—saying that because you violated some sort of federal law your computer will remain locked until you pay a fine. Or you get a pop-up message telling you that your personal files have been encrypted and you have to pay to get the key needed decrypt them.

Screen Shot 2015-12-03 at 10.50.23 AMThese scenarios are examples of ransomware scams, which involve a type of malware that infects computers and restricts users’ access to their files or threatens the permanent destruction of their information unless a ransom—anywhere from hundreds to thousands of dollars—is paid.

Ransomware doesn’t just impact home computers.
Businesses, financial institutions, government agencies, academic institutions, and other organizations can and have become infected with it as well, resulting in the loss of sensitive or proprietary information, a disruption to regular operations, financial losses incurred to restore systems and files, and/or potential harm to an organization’s reputation.

Ransomware has been around for several years, but there’s been a definite uptick lately in its use by cyber criminals. And the FBI, along with public and private sector partners, is targeting these offenders and their scams.

Screen Shot 2015-12-03 at 10.47.22 AMWhen ransomware first hit the scene, computers predominately became infected with it when users opened e-mail attachments that contained the malware.
But more recently, we’re seeing an increasing number of incidents involving so-called “drive-by” ransomware, where users can infect their computers simply by clicking on a compromised website, often lured there by a deceptive e-mail or pop-up window.

Another new trend involves the ransom payment method. While some of the earlier ransomware scams involved having victims pay “ransom” with pre-paid cards, victims are now increasingly asked to pay with Bitcoin, a decentralized virtual currency network that attracts criminals because of the anonymity the system offers.

Also a growing problem is ransomware that locks down mobile phones and demands payments to unlock them.

The FBI and our federal, international, and private sector partners have taken proactive steps to neutralize some of the more significant ransomware scams through law enforcement actions against major botnets↗ that facilitated the distribution and operation of ransomware.

For example:

  • Reveton ransomware, delivered by malware known as Citadel, falsely warned victims that their computers had been identified by the FBI or Department of Justice as being associated with child pornography websites or other illegal online activity. In June 2013, Microsoft, the FBI, and our financial partners disrupted a massive criminal botnet built on the Citadel malware, putting the brakes on Reveton’s distribution. FBI statement↗ and additional details.↗
  • Cryptolocker was a highly sophisticated ransomware that used cryptographic key pairs to encrypt the computer files of its victims and demanded ransom for the encryption key. In June 2014, the FBI announced—in conjunction with the Gameover Zeus botnet disruption—that U.S. and foreign law enforcement officials had seized Cryptolocker command and control servers. The investigation into the criminals behind Cryptolocker continues, but the malware is unable to encrypt any additional computers. Additional details.↗

If you think you’ve been a victim of Cryptolocker, visit the Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team (CERT) CryptoLocker webpage↗ for remediation information.

The FBI—along with its federal, international, and private sector partners—will continue to combat ransomware and other cyber threats. If you believe you’ve been the victim of a ransomware scheme or other cyber fraud activity, please report it to the Bureau’s Internet Crime Complaint Center.

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↗ Linking to Non-Biltmore Bank Websites

This icon appears next to every link that directs to a third party website not affiliated with Biltmore Bank. Please be advised that if you click this link you will be taken to a website hosted by another party, where you will no longer be subject to, or under the protection of, the privacy and security policies of Biltmore Bank. We recommend that you review and evaluate the privacy and security policies of the site that you are entering. Biltmore Bank assumes no liability for the content, information, security, policies or transactions provided by these other sites.

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