Afognak Native Corporation Close to Recovering All $3.8 Million Lost in Cyber-attack

Afognak Native Corporation logo. Via Afognak Native CorporationKayla Desroches/KMXT

The Afognak Native Corporation has nearly recovered all of the $3.826 million it lost to a cyber-fraud attack about a year ago. According to Alisha Drabek senior vice president of community and government affairs for the Afognak Native Corporation, fraudsters targeted subsidiary Alutiiq LLC and posed first as the Afognak CEO and then as attorneys through email and phone calls, and manipulated an employee into transferring money to supposedly purchase a new subsidiary.

Drabek explains senior management was out of town at the time, and the fake subsidiary was based in a state they had recently visited.

Drabek says the FBI led an investigation following the attack and Afognak Native Corporation legal staff worked with attorneys in Hong Kong to recover the funds. They have been so far successful and managed to learn a little about their attackers.

“The investigation I believe did identify criminals based in Asia as well as in Eastern Europe. I don’t have the specifics in the number of assailants that were involved, but it was more than one, and we were very much focused on getting the money back.”

She said the investigation is ongoing, and the Afognak Native Corporation has slowly recovered most of the money.

“All of the funds were originally transferred into one holding account in Hong Kong at the Hong Kong and Shanghai bank corporation and once we were able to able to work with Key Bank, our bank, and put a hold on that account, all of the $2.56 million that we recovered came from that account.”

According to an Afognak press release, the corporation received $2.565 million of the funds in March, $1.1 million in April through insurance, and will continue to fight to recover the rest of the money.


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