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Scam Alert: Why CFOs should be scared of this Nigeria-based hacker group

A Nigerian based hacker group, ‘London Blue’ is trying to trick thousands of top executives across the globe into sending them company funds

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Fraud

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.

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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.”

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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).

Fikayo has a degree in computer science with economics from Obafemi Awolowo University. ITIL v3 in IT service management. An alumnus of Daystar Leadership Academy. Prior to joining Nairametrics had stinct in Project management, Telecommunications among others. Also training in Consulting and Investment banking from Edubridge Academy. He has very keen interest in Politics, Agri-business, private equity and global economics. He loves travelling and watching football. You can contact him via [email protected]

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Energy

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.

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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.”

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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.

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Financial Services

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.

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NAICOM

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.

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“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.”

(READ MORE: FG seeking FDI to develop Special Economic Zones – Trade Minister)

Why this matters

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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.

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Financial Services

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.

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CRR debits, P-AADS, #EndSARS: CBN says funds in frozen accounts may be linked to terrorist activities, Covid-19: Court closures impacted revenue generation for courts - Emefiele, P&ID dispute: UK Court orders $200 million guarantee to FG, Leaked letter by Poultry Farmers Association triggered CBN emergency approval to import maize, nImplications of CBN's latest devaluation and FX unification, current account deficit, IMF, COVID-19, CBN OMO ban could give stocks a much-needed boost , CBN’s N132.56 billion T-bills auction records oversubscription by 327% , Nigeria pays $1.09 billion to service external debt in 9 months , Implications of the new CBN stance on treasury bill sale to individuals, Digital technology and blockchain altering conventional banking models - Emefiele  , Increasing food prices might erase chances of CBN cutting interest rate   , Customer complaint against excess/unauthorized charges hits 1, 612 - CBN , CBN moves to reduce cassava derivatives import worth $600 million  , Invest in infrastructural development - CBN Governor admonishes investors , Credit to government declines, as Credit to private sector hits N25.8 trillion, CBN sets N10 billion minimum capital for Mortgage firms, CBN sets N10 billion minimum capital for Mortgage firms , Why you should be worried about the latest drop in external reserves, CBN, Alert: CBN issues N847.4 billion treasury bills for Q1 2020 , PMI: Nigeria’s manufacturing sector gains momentum in November, CBN warns high foreign credits could collapse Nigeria’s economy, predicts high poverty, MPC Member, BVN, Fitch, Foreign excchange (Forex), Overnight rates crash after CBN’s N1.4 trillion deduction, Nigeria’s foreign reserves hit $36.57 billion; Emefiele keeps his word on defending the naira, CBN to support maize farmers, projects 12.5 million metric tons in 18 months, BREAKING: CBN Upscales Greenwich Trust Limited, grants it's operational license for merchant banking, AGSMEIS: CBN expand beneficiaries to 14,638., CBN expands access to mortgage financing

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.

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(READ MORE: N200 billion Unclaimed Dividend: Securities dealers reject FG’s plan to manage fund)

Bottom line

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.

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