Chile: Empresa Nacional Del Petroleo spared from financial losses in BEC attack by alert bank

ENAP (Empresa Nacional Del Petroleo), is a Chilean state-owned company engaged in the exploitation, production, refining, and marketing of oil and its derivatives. It reports administratively to the Ministry of Energy.  As Nicolas Parra Tapia and Felipe Diaz Montero recently reported, well-known Nigerian cybercriminals had targeted ENAP in a wire transfer scheme. It was only thanks to an alert bank that ENAP was spared financial losses.

As BioBioChile explains, the “SilverTerrier” organization targeted ENAP in February 2021 using a business email compromise (BEC) attack. The attackers posed as a supplier requesting a change in their bank account information. ENAP complied and transferred funds to the new account. Luckily for them, the transaction was rejected because the bank detected inconsistencies between the person who would receive the money and the name of the account to which funds were being sent.

But there was more, as BioBioChile reports (machine translation):

The second attempt was when the hackers illegally entered ENAP’s information processing systems, which made it possible to send hundreds of e-mails, classified as spam, from the mailbox of the company’s director of crude purchases and trading, in this case, a communication containing a link to an unknown web site, where supposedly a voice message from the manager was being sent.

A total of 32 emails were identified, from different domains related to the fraud, between February 3 and March 11, 2021.

SilverTerrier has been active since 2014, primarily targeting technology, higher education, and manufacturing organizations. Law enforcement agencies on four continents have cooperated in trying to identify and arrest members of this group. As Bleeping Computer reported in May,  the Nigerian Police Force arrested an individual believed to be in their upper ranks.  In August, OCCRP reported more arrests and that Nigerian police had arrested 11 people in January believed to be linked to SilverTerrier.  SilverTerrier is estimated to have had more than 50,000 potential fraud victims by now.

Editing by Dissent

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