Lazarus hackers compromise Chile's ATM network through LinkedIn job advert

Person entering their PIN number into an ATM machine

Chile's ATM network has been compromised by what is believed to be Lazarus, the cybercrime outfit oft-thought to have links to North Korea.

The attack was facilitated by a Redbanc employee who fell for a phishing scam following a job application. Redbanc is the company that manages the interconnecting infrastructure for all of Chile's ATMs.

The employee applied for a job via LinkedIn and then the hiring company, believed to be Lazarus, set up a fake interview with the applicant in Spanish, according to trendTIC.

The applicant was then told to download and install a file named ApplicationPDF.exe, a program that would help with the recruitment process and generate a standard application form.

Instead, this application was a form of malware known as PowerRatankba, a strain previously linked to Lazarus Group, according to Vitali Kremez, director of research at Flashpoint, in an analysis of the executable.

The malware collected information about the employee's computer and sent it back to a remote server so when the attackers realised they had caught a big fish, they could release a PowerShell script in a second stage payload. The computer then acted as an entry point for the attackers to compromise the Redbanc infrastructure.

The attack happened in late December 2018 but has only recently been reported for the first time.

Chilean Senator Felipe Harboe slammed Redbanc for failing to disclose the hack sooner, the company did just that the following day.

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The Lazarus hackers are known for their prolific hacks on banks and cryptocurrency exchanges and have remained anonymous and active for some years.

Connor Jones
News and Analysis Editor

Connor Jones has been at the forefront of global cyber security news coverage for the past few years, breaking developments on major stories such as LockBit’s ransomware attack on Royal Mail International, and many others. He has also made sporadic appearances on the ITPro Podcast discussing topics from home desk setups all the way to hacking systems using prosthetic limbs. He has a master’s degree in Magazine Journalism from the University of Sheffield, and has previously written for the likes of Red Bull Esports and UNILAD tech during his career that started in 2015.