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Fraudulent Berkeley Lab Credit Requests and Purchase Orders

On July 7th, 2015, Berkeley Lab Cyber Security became aware of a targeted attack involving fraudulent credit requests and purchase orders being submitted to vendors using names and email addresses that impersonate Berkeley Lab personnel. There is currently no specific pattern to these messages, however be wary of the following:

  • Messages from a vendor requesting confirmation of an unusual order (e.g. using credit, unusual amounts of goods ordered, different names, emails or phone numbers, etc.).
  • Suspicious requests to approve wire transfers, credit or approve orders from a Berkeley Lab staff member (e.g. Director Alivisatos).
  • Email with any of the following attributes

If you are an employee, please forward any suspicious emails or messages immediately to your supervisor and help@lbl.gov. Your assistance is greatly appreciated.

If you are a vendor who has been impacted by these fraudsters, please consult the email that was sent to you for information on how to contact law enforcement.  

As a vendor, you can verify the authenticity of emails from LBL by using the LBL Phone Directory at phonebook.lbl.gov to search for LBL employees, and check with them using their published email address or phone number to verify their identity and the transaction.  Additional information about how to verify is also in the email you were sent notifying you about this issue.

Note that these attempts at fraud are not believed to be the result of a compromise or breach at Berkeley Lab.

Example 1

From: PROCUREMENTDEPT@LBL-GOV.US [mailto:procurementdept.lbl.gov@gmail.com] 
Sent: July 7, 2015 10:25
To: *example vendor*
Cc: procurementdept@lbl-gov.us
Subject: Re: CREDIT APP REQUEST/PLS RESPOND TO KNOW YOU GOT IT

*Vendor name*,
 
Below is the item we looking to purchase:

Hanna Instruments HI 4222-01 Digital, Bench-model pH-ISE Meter............................100 units

ALAN PAUL  ALIVISATOS 
Director/Chief Procurement Officer (CPO) 
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL)
(A U.S. Department of Energy National Laboratory 
Managed by the University of California)
1 Cyclotron Road, MS 56A-120, 
Berkeley, CA 94720
Tel:510-423-6187                                        
Fax:888-278-6349
procurementdept@lbl-gov.us
procurementdept.lbl.gov@gmail.com

 

Example 2

From: Paul Alivisatos <APAlivisatos@lbl.gov>
Date: Tue, Jul 7, 2015 at 3:54 AM
Subject: Request
To: <LBL staff>
Cc: 

Hi <LBL staff>,

How are you doing today? hope you are having a nice day. I have a few transactions which i want you
take care for me today. Let me know the required information needed for you to process the Wire 
transfer.

I will appreciate swift response

Thanks
Paul Alivisatos

Example 3

From: "PROCUREMENTDEPT@LBL-GOV.US" <procurementdept.lbl.gov@gmail.com>
Subject: CREDIT APP REQUEST
Date: July 7, 2015 at 2:11:42 PM PDT
To: info@bluelionbio.com

We interested in opening a corporate account/new account with your company;we want to purchase from you
 so please kindly send us your credit application form so we can move forward.

ALAN PAUL  ALIVISATOS 
Director/Chief Procurement Officer (CPO) 
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL)
(A U.S. Department of Energy National Laboratory 
Managed by the University of California)
1 Cyclotron Road, MS 56A-120, 
Berkeley, CA 94720
Tel:510-423-6187                                        
Fax:888-278-6349
procurementdept@lbl-gov.us
procurementdept.lbl.gov@gmail.com

 

Example 4

From: "PROCUREMENTDEPT@LBL-GOV.US" <procurementdept.lbl.gov@gmail.com>
Subject: URGENT NEED FOR A CREDIT APP FORM/PLS REPLY AND SEND THIS TO US ASAP!!!
Date: July 8, 2015 at 1:04:21 AM PDT


To: Paul Connolly <info@bluelionbio.com>

Paul,

Kindly reply us with the credit application form which we requested so please get this sent to us 
so we can be set up as a new customer to your company..

Do get back to us ASAP.

ALAN PAUL  ALIVISATOS 
Director/Chief Procurement Officer (CPO) 
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL)
(A U.S. Department of Energy National Laboratory 
Managed by the University of California)
1 Cyclotron Road, MS 56A-120, 
Berkeley, CA 94720
Tel:510-423-6187                                        
Fax:888-278-6349

Example 5

From: PROCUREMENTDEPT@LBL.GOV [mailto:procurementdept.lbl.gov@gmail.com]
Sent: Wednesday, July 08, 2015 3:32 PM
To: cathy@spectraservices.com
Subject: CREDIT APP REQUEST ASAP
 
We interested in opening a corporate account/new account with your company;we want to purchase from you so 
please kindly send us your credit application form so we can move forward.
 
ALAN PAUL ALIVISATOS
Director/Chief Procurement Officer (CPO)
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL)
(A U.S. Department of Energy National Laboratory
Managed by the University of California)
1 Cyclotron Road, MS 56A-120,
Berkeley, CA 94720
Tel:510-423-6187
Fax:888-278-6349
procurementdept.lbl.gov@gmail.com
Ref:MSG0879028

 

Example 6

From: PROCUREMENTDEPT@LBL.GOV [mailto:procurementdept.lbl.gov@gmail.com] Sent: Thursday, July 09, 2015 1:31 PM
To: Brian Zigler
Subject: CREDIT APP REQUEST
 
We interested in opening a corporate account/new account with your company;we want to purchase from you so 
please kindly send us your credit application form so we can move forward.
 
ALAN PAUL ALIVISATOS 
Director/Chief Procurement Officer (CPO) 
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL)
(A U.S. Department of Energy National Laboratory 
Managed by the University of California)
1 Cyclotron Road, MS 56A-120, 
Berkeley, CA 94720
Tel:510-423-6187 
Fax:888-278-6349

Example 7

From: ACCOUNT PAYABLE [acctpay.lbnl@gmail.com]
Sent: Thursday, July 16, 2015 11:20 AM
Subject: URGENT UPDATE NEEDED TO KNOW THE STATUS OF OUR CREDIT APP!!!/PLS REPLY ASAP

AR DEPT,
We need to know the status of our credit application submitted since Monday so please email back to let
 us know if our account has been fully set up to request a price quote and  place an order.

Get back to us asap.

ALAN PAUL  ALIVISATOS
Director/Chief Procurement Officer (CPO)
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL)
(A U.S. Department of Energy National Laboratory
Managed by the University of California)
1 Cyclotron Road, MS 56A-120,
Berkeley, CA 94720
Tel:[45]510-423-6187                  
Fax:[46]888-278-6349