On March 16, 2020 Norfund data breach led to a serious fraud and loss of $10 milion. Hackers acessed information concerning a loan from Norwegian Investment Fund to a microfinance institution in Cambodia (LOLC). They then manipulated information exchange between Norfund and the borrowing institution, payment details were falsified. Then the money was diverted into an account fraudsters controlled in Mexico.
Norfund admitted data breach and fraud two month later on May 18, 2020. According to the company, the fraud was discovered on the 30th of April, as the scammers initiated a new fraud attempt. This one was unsuccessful and prevented.
“The fact that this has happened shows that our existing systems and routines were not secure enough“Norfund press release
According to Aftenposten, Norfund received fake emails claiming to come from LOLC in Cambodia. The scammers also compromised Norfund’s email system and used this security breach to notify LOLC about the payment delay due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
“This is a grave incident. The fraud clearly shows that we, as an international investor and development organisation, through active use of digital channels are vulnerable. The fact that this has happened shows that our systems and routines are not good enough. We have taken immediate and serious action to correct this”TELLEF THORLEIFSSON, NORFUND CEO
Norfund established a crisis management team, informed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway, contacted the police and filed the report. Norfund is collaborating closely with the police, DNB bank and other relevant authorities. PwC was engaged by Norfund’s Board of Directors “to undertake an external, independent evaluation of company routines and security systems”.