Nigeria has been a problem area of the world before the internet even existed. It has become less known for its extreme poverty and notorious for all the scams that find their way into your spam box. Most of the scams could be seen from space and no self respecting computer user would fall for such primitive tactics. Unfortunately, the sophistication level of African nation scams should be taken a bit more seriously.
Meet Stephen Omaidu, graduate of an obscure university in the obscure town of Lokoja Nigeria was arraigned in a Abuja high court. His charge was “withdrawing” over three-hundred million dollars of a non-disclosed bank. He plead not guilty but he has been placed in custody awaiting trial. He was not the only alleged perpetrator in the crime. Four others remain free and have yet to be found. Aliases of two of the fugitives are simply known as Ben and Oliver.
How the crime was accomplished is unknown, yet the basic methods such as a rootkit (which sits in the kernel of an OS,) HTML header injection or SQL injection are doubtful and awakens the world that Nigerian’s have become far more sophisticated in their scamming shenanigans.
Few details have been released on exactly how the “hack” took place, and indeed on the bank involved, other than that it is a “second-generation bank” – that is, one set up since independence from colonial rule in 1960. Nigeria’s largest banks are mostly older establishments. The amount of money shows the skills of the thieves far supersedes the banking institutions. If it were a non-cyber heist it would have been the largest ever. Simply put, no one would be able to carry away that amount of money. Cyber crimes have become the new trend in the past few years. All one has to do is be great and creative with computers, have a computer and a bank account where the money can be laundered. It is much better then renting a fleet of u-hauls.
It is a form of cyber cat and mouse between the crooks and the banks. Online security gets better and better but so do the hackers. The problem is the consumer and financial institutions have much more to loose then a couple of men with internet access and a couple of clever software programs or Trojans.
More often then not, however, it takes an insider as a case that recently come to the attention of the media. A non disclosed person, also from Nigeria, placed hardware within a bank to help gain access to his new found fortune.
It is unknown by the media whether or not that Mr. Omaidu or his cronies were affiliated with the bank, but I would defiantly place my bet on that possibility.
Nevertheless, like the well published hack of Target, banks have a bit of work to do when it comes to security. Therefore, the question remains, who will be the next millionaire?