A Nigerian based hacker group, ‘London Blue’ is trying to trick thousands of top executives across the globe into sending them company funds.
In a report by cybersecurity firm, Agari, the ambitious scheme mainly targets Chief Financial Officers via mail and has reportedly compiled a list of 35,000 chief financial officers, including some at the world’s biggest banks and mortgage companies, in a bid to target them with fraudulent requests to transfer money.
It noted that attackers are carrying out increasingly common scam known as business email compromise in which they attempt to pose as a company insider such as the CEO, requesting a money transfer to an outside account.
According to the report
“Targets included companies in a very broad range of sectors from small businesses to the largest multinational corporations”
“Of the ‘London Blue’ hit list, 71% of targets held the title CFO, while the remainder were senior members of finance teams including finance directors, controllers and members of accounting. The majority of targets are based in the US, with remaining targets based in a host of nations including Spain, the UK, Finland, and Egypt.”
How the Group works
The Agari report noted that London Blue group operates like a modern corporation and has people working on business intelligence, sales, email marketing, financial operations and Human resources.
It carries out attacks in multiple languages and has at least 17 collaborators in the United States, United Kingdom and other Western European countries.
Agari said it became aware of London Blue after the group tried to trick the security firm’s own CFO in August.
“we then engaged actively with the attacker, giving us an initial glimpse of the gang that we would widen into a penetrating X-ray.”
Recently, Marriot, an American multinational with diversified investment in the hospitality business and franchises a broad portfolio of hotels, raised an alarm that its guest reservation system has been hacked, potentially exposing the personal information of approximately 500 million guests.
Agari is a leading cybersecurity company, that protects people and businesses against cybercriminals who use false identities to commit fraud, steal information and undermine trust in digital business.
The Agari Email Trust Platform is the industry’s only artificial intelligence (AI) driven defence system that models authentic, trustworthy communications to protect humans from being deceived by cyberattacks such as phishing, ransomware and business email compromise (BEC).
FG to begin online registration, monitoring of petrol stations, depots
The DPR has stated that it will commence the remote monitoring, registration, and accreditation of all petroleum products depots.
The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has revealed that it plans to automate and begin remote monitoring, registration, and accreditation of petroleum products depots, retail outlets, and the entire downstream oil and gas industry, with the launch of the newly established Downstream Remote Monitoring Systems (DRMS).
While disclosing a statement in Abuja, the Head, Public Affairs of the DPR, Paul Osu, pointed out that the newly established Downstream Remote Monitoring Systems is expected to take off on December 1, 2020, after the launch in Abuja.
According to a report by Vanguard, Osu explained that the DRMS is a web-based solution designed to provide intelligent regulatory and inventory management system for petroleum products supply and distribution from depot to retail outlets and also as a regulatory tool to monitor retail outlets and depot activities.
He said, “Other features of the application include retail outlets accreditation and re-registration, nationwide automated product inventory management, retail outlets coordinate recording for mapping purposes and transactions management and report generation of dealers nationwide.
“The establishment of DRMS is another strategic initiative of DPR to continue to create opportunities and enable business in the oil and gas industry in Nigeria.”
It can be recalled that the DPR had a few months ago, launched the National Production Monitoring System (NPMS), another online platform to assist the oil and gas regulator accurately monitor national crude oil production and exports, through the provision of a system for direct and independent acquisition of production data from oil and gas facilities in Nigeria
This is to ensure timely and accurate reporting of production figures and export data. This is also expected to guard against the crude oil theft that is prevalent in Nigeria’s upstream oil sector or reported cases of crude oil that is sold but unaccounted for.
The NPMS is an initiative that is developed as a replacement for the current paper-based report and ensures ready production reporting to the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) and other agencies.
Era of backlog of unsettled claims is over – NAICOM boss
NAICOM has stated that it will monitor and sanction insurance companies who fail to settle claims as at when due.
The National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) is out to seriously sanction any insurance companies with huge unsettled claims.
This disclosure was made by the Commissioner for Insurance, Mr. Sunday Thomas, at the on-going 2020 Insurance Directors’ Conference, jointly organized by NAICOM and the College of Insurance & Financial Management (CIFM), held at the Oriental Hotel in Lagos.
Mr. Thomas reiterated the need for the operators, post-pandemic, to appropriately strengthen their human and financial capital for effective participation in big-ticket risks to take advantage of the obvious gains of the domestication policy in the Nigeria Content Development Act 2010.
In his words, Mr. Thomas stated, “More businesses especially in the oil and gas and the Aviation sectors are now being reinsured abroad. Of more concern is the declining participation of life companies in the annuity business, which is the emerging business for our industry.
“These are the areas where the industry can impose itself on the economy through the control of funds for national development. The industry must invest handsomely in technology, one of our key drivers for developing the market.
“The Institutions should be prepared to digitalize their processes, procedures, and systems, in order to make their operations seamless and real-time. The Commission is investing heavily in automating its processes and expects nothing less from the insurance institutions. An industry Information Technology Guideline has been issued for the operators and the Commission requires your support and cooperation for effective compliance.”
Why this matters
Prompt settlement of claims should be a top priority for the insurance operators in achieving an excellent and responsive customer service experience. Settlement of claims has been a serious nightmare for quite a number of customers, resulting to the abysmally low insurance culture in Nigeria.
Customers are more likely to patronize the insurance companies that are prompt in claims settlement and by extension improve the industry penetration in the market.
Total credit to the economy rose to N19.54trillion – CBN Governor
The CBN revealed during the MPC meeting that the total credit to the economy rose to N19.54tn as of the end of November 13.
The CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, has disclosed during the Monetary Policy Committee meeting that the total credit to the economy rose to N19.54tn as of the end of November 13.
According to him, the aggregate domestic credit grew by 7.6% in October 2020 compared with 7.35% Month-on-Month in September.
In his words, “Total gross credit by the banking industry stood at N19.54tn as at 13th November 2020 compared with N19.33tn at end-August 2020, an increase of N290.13bn. When compared with N15.56tn at the commencement of the LDR policy in May 2019, total gross credit increased by N3.97tn.”
According to Emefiele, the composition of the loans are N738bn to Manufacturing, General commerce N874bn, Agric and forestry N301bn, Construction N291bn, ICT (N231bn), etc.
In the month of October 2020, he stated that 86.23% of the total loans granted to over one million customers by banks were at interest rates considerably below 20% per annum.
The MPC was quite optimistic and favorably disposed about the future impact of the disbursements from agri-business/Small and Medium Enterprise Investment Scheme of the sum of N92.90bn to 24,702 beneficiaries; Anchor Borrowers Program – N164.91bn disbursed to 954,279 beneficiaries; and COVID-19 Targeted Credit Facility to household and SMEs, with the sum of N149.21bn to 316,869 beneficiaries.