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Banco de Chile finds ally in cyberheist quest

Hong Kong's High Court approved the pari-passu agreement reached between Banco de Chile and Maccaferri Inc., a construction company that allegedly fell prey to the same hackers who were behind the May 2018 cyberattack on the bank, Diario Financiero reported May 17.

According to separate investigations by both Banco de Chile and Maccaferri cited in the report, the two companies followed leads that suggest illicit subtraction of funds by Hongtao Trade. The Chilean bank and the Italian construction company signed a pari-passu agreement in March, which gives them priority over other parties in claims against Hongtao Trade.

The approval of the agreement by the court could mean that Banco de Chile now holds claim over almost $300,000 deposited by Boruida Trading Co. in an account owned by Hongtao Trade, Diario Financiero reported.

In 2018, a virus attack at Banco de Chile led to the theft of about $10 million. In February this year, construction company Maccaferri contacted the bank saying it too had suffered a cybertheft of some $405,000, and the two joined legal efforts to recover stolen funds from hackers in Hong Kong. The agreement signed in March grants them equal right to payment, and prevents other parties from holding seniority on repayments made to Banco de Chile and Maccaferri.

The bank filed suit against various Hong Kong firms, one of which was Boruida Trading Co Ltd. Out of the $10 million that went missing, $2 million was deposited at Boruida, which moved almost $300,000 to an account owned by Hongtao Trade the day after the theft occurred.