Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required







We seek to provide information, insights and direction that may enable the Financial Community to effectively and efficiently operate in a regulatory risk-free environment by curating content from all over the web.


Stay Informed with the latest fanancialish news.





Goldman and Citigroup CEOs Get Spoofed by Email Prankster

June 13, 2017

[Photos: Lloyd Blankfein (by Paul Elledge/Wikimedia Commons); Michael Corbat]


by Howard Haykin


For the 3rd and 4th times in the past month, chief executives of big banks fell victim to an email prankster. In May, Barclays CEO Jes Staley was spoofed [see Barclays CEO Jes Staley Gets Spoofed], then Bank of England Governor Mark Carney was targeted [The Email Spoofer Strikes Again]. This month, Lloyd Blankfein and Michael Corbat, chief executives of Goldman Sachs and Citigroup, were victimized. Neither revealed any sensitive information, but the intrusions raised issues about how bank systems process emails.


GOLDMAN SACHS CEO BLANKFEIN.    Blankfein was drawn into the hoax by responding to an email he thought had come from Goldman President and COO Harvey Schwartz.

  • Blankfein, who had traveled last week to China, posted a tweet about China’s impressive infrastructure.
  • The prankster then sent an email, purportedly from Schwartz, congratulating Blankfein on his tweet: "Tweet won some online award for humorous tweet - Trump will be so pissed ;)."
  • Blankfein replied, saying he had tweeted when he landed in China because it "seemed like a good way to bookend my trip."
  • Both continued to exchange several emails.


CITIGROUP CEO CORBAT.    On Sunday night, Corbat and Citi consumer banking chief Stephen Bird received an email, purportedly from Citigroup Chairman Michael O’Neill, containing a link to news article about Lloyd Blankfein having been spoofed earlier that week, along with a warning to be careful.


  • Corbat’s replied by that he couldn’t open the link, but nonetheless thanked "O'Neill" for an event the night before.
  • Bird replied several times: (i) Jokingly forewarned: “I hope that’s our real chairman;” (ii) Outlined some of the precautions Citi was taking to strengthen its email security;  (iii) Complimented Blankfein on having responded to the email: “At least Lloyd was the new economy that's something. Some of his peers are still getting their messages printed out.”
  • Both continued to exchange several emails.