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 multimedia content strategy at CyberRisk Alliance, Bradley Barth develops content for online conferences, webcasts, podcasts video/multimedia projects — often serving as moderator or host. 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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