Application security, Critical Infrastructure Security, Threat Management, Critical Infrastructure Security

Email scam swindles $2.6M from Puerto Rican government corporation

The Puerto Rico government fell for a phishing scam that bilked the U.S. territory out of $2.6 million -- an incident that sounds like a possible business email compromise.

According to an Associated Press report, the Puerto Rico Industrial Development Company (PRIDCO), a government-run corporation created to promote the island as an investment destination, reportedly filed a police complaint last Wednesday, after the organization was tricked into transferring funds to an attacker-controlled account.

The monetary transaction took place on Jan. 17 after PRIDCO received a fraudulent email that falsely claimed there was a change to a banking account used to make remittance payments, the report continued, citing a police statement.

Manuel Laboy, executive director of the agency, reportedly told the AP that the attack was a "very serious situation," and said the plot was discovered and relayed to the FBI earlier this week.

Puerto Rico has been beset by a series of hardships since 2017, including a government-debt crisis, the highly destructive Hurricane Maria, and a damaging earthquake that struck just last January.

Bradley Barth

As director of community content at CyberRisk Alliance, Bradley Barth develops content for SC Media online conferences and events, as well as video/multimedia projects. For nearly six years, he wrote and reported for SC Media as deputy editor and, before that, senior reporter. He was previously a program executive with the tech-focused PR firm Voxus. Past journalistic experience includes stints as business editor at Executive Technology, a staff writer at New York Sportscene and a freelance journalist covering travel and entertainment. In his spare time, Bradley also writes screenplays.

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