New computer attacks indicate failures in cyber security in Chile

Three new leaks of personal bank details were registered this week, according to the Superintendency of Banks and Financial Institutions (SBIF).

The institution already warned of the lightness of the barriers of the computer systems that protect users' data against theft by hackers via the internet.

And by the end of July he had already stressed that about 55,000 credit cards and their data had been leaked, just a few days after another cyber attack that brought information on 14,000 credit cards to light, both operations claimed by a group of American hackers.

Although most of the plastics affected corresponded to foreign accounts and were inactive, the situation informed authorities and authorities in the South American country.

These two leaks, according to the SBIF, were the work of the "group of cyber criminals called ShadowBrokers, who published the card number, the security number (CVV) and the expiration date" of maps of about 19 bank and non-bank publishers, some of them foreigners .

Although these actions had little effect on the deposits of the users, they brought back the weaknesses of the bank security systems, which had suffered a major loss of capital last year due to computer theft.

In practice, there were $ 10 million in the private banking entity Banco de Chile, the second largest bank in the country.

A virus had an impact on the institution's computer system and had to disconnect a large part of the 9,000 workstations that the bank has across the country. At that time there were four fraudulent transactions that took away about ten million dollars.

The last three attacks this week were not so convincing: the publication of "lists of employees of an entity", the disclosure of customer data of a banking entity and the assumed elimination of the data of 500 persons from the commercial information directory (Dicom), a national register of debtors.

The facts coincide with the investigations that provide worrying data about the investment of Chilean entities in the cyber security plan.

An investigation by the Citrix company, from before last May, when Banco de Chile was suffering the theft, pointed out that the biggest fear of Chilean companies regarding cyber security was a hacker attack, but 61% of the companies were not. plan to increase his investment in protecting himself.

A recent NovaRed analysis showed that Chilean companies spent $ 195.7 million in cybersecurity last year, 4.1% more than in 2016 and equivalent to 0.07% of GDP, but below the average for the region, reaching 0.12% of the gross domestic product.

These weaknesses are those that the government of Chile is trying to improve through experience and international cooperation, as was done last June with a request to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) after the raid on Banco de Chile.

As a result of this attack, the Ministry of Finance has activated a working group working on two axes to modernize the prevention tools and the protocols with which cyber security incidents are faced.

The President of Chile, Sebastián Piñera, went further and in recent weeks used the visits to Chile from the United States Secretary of State, James Mattis, and the President of the Spanish government, Pedro Sánchez, signed two agreements with those countries on this issue.

"One issue that we are very interested in is the issue of cyber security, something for which the Latin American countries are not well prepared and have to compensate lost time," Piñera said during his meeting with Mattis in Santiago. EFE / RA

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