SAO PAULO, Jan 23 (Reuters) - Hackers who stole data from 29,000 clients of XP Investimentos SA allegedly tried to get the Brazilian independent securities firm to pay 22.5 million reais ($7.1 million) to keep the security breach secret, the online service of newspaper Valor Econômico said on Monday.
According to Valor, which reviewed documents related to the matter, hackers sought the money from Guilherme Benchimol, XP's controlling shareholder and chief executive officer. XP told the paper in a statement that the security breach had taken place between 2013 and 2014.
Efforts to contact XP's media office in São Paulo after working hours were unsuccessful. The matter remains under investigation by Brazilian authorities, XP told Valor.
The situation underscores growing risks facing financial firms in Brazil, which underwent a wave of cyberattacks two or three years ago. Banks in Brazil invest more than 10 billion reais a year in security, not only for their brick-and-mortar branches but also for their mobility apps, according to industry data.
According to Valor, XP said client investments are safe, without elaborating.
($1 = 3.1628 reais) (Reporting by Tatiana Bautzer; Editing by Guillermo Parra-Bernal and David Gregorio)