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More than 419
Recent disclosures by the EFCC that it had arrested over 500 suspected Advance Fee fraudsters should be a matter of serious concern to both the government and the entire public.
Is the war against economic crimes is really succeeding?
The situation is getting alarming and I wish to draw the attention of the EFCC and public to a source of another imminent disaster before it occurs. Going by the number of suspects that are so far arrested by the EFCC, it should be perceived as a significant threat to our country and businesses at large especially financial institution in the country.
The disclosure by the EFCC should serve to impress upon them that they have a Herculean task ahead.
Though attention is focused on the establishment of cyber cafés, which are increasing in number daily, but crime can be perpetrated from any location apart from Festac Town and it can be executed using laptop from your bedroom
The question now is, is the issue of Advance Fee Fraud is the only crime that can be perpetrated from Cyber café? Are there no other computer related crimes that may have or might have been going on without any person or the victim noticing it? The answer is YES.
Apart from Advanced Fee Fraud otherwise known as (419), which I believe is commonly perpetrated by the usage of emails. World Client is one of the emails software that can be easily used to send mails by using another persons email address. Impersonation is easy with world client email. I don't want to elaborate further on this for security reasons. World client email software,
even if not properly installed can be used easily.
Are we sure some of the banks networks have not been attacked and fraudulent withdrawals made without banks noticing it. New connectivity among banks networks and devices multiplies the risk of malicious code, hacking and other cyber threats
Apart from external threats, internal threats also are on the rise. In an environment of downsizing, internal control security efforts will become more important. With Trojan horses program that performs illicit or undesirable activities behind the scene, management should make more efforts that will ensure adequate security of their business or they place their organizations at risk especially banks. There is no need to explain further on the internal threats for security reasons.
Security as a Priority
Tracing the source of some computer fraud is a Herculean task; it requires individuals' skills that have proven experience and knowledge.
Most computer installations have experienced system collapse or degradation because of failure of some component of systems software. Unexpected situation may arise and if care is not taken, can have extensive and expensive repercussions. Most organizations today have installed computers of various sizes for processing data. Too much emphasis appears to have been placed on technology and too little attention on the security of the valuable business wealth contained in the information being managed by Information Technology Department. (IT).
The Imminence of Cyber Attacks & Social Factors
Computer crimes or cyber attacks are becoming common and targeted, and what EFCC had disclosed, proves that the trend is going to increase further. Detection of computer fraud is more difficult today than yesterday and will be more difficult tomorrow than today. In the near future, inevitably, would come the serious reduction in armed robbery attacks, which will be replaced by cyber attacks in the country.
With that number of suspects that are so far been arrested in the country and the sophistication in which they have been executing this crime may turn it into highly efficient and lucrative sideline industry later on. The rapidity of the country's development in all spheres and the societal emphasis on materialism and unlimited acquisition of personal aggrandizement have the tendency to predispose individual to criminality especially during this hard time.
In a country where scramble for wealth is like throwing a piece of bone before a pack of swine.
The community of hackers is getting more sophisticated and tools used to launch the attacks are easier to find and easier to use. There are three types of hackers namely White hats, Black hats and Grey hats.
Internet use continues to increase dramatically; making it the fastest growing medium in history at the same time the number of cyber abusers is growing proportionately, to these cyber abusers, Internet is a tool for mischievous activity and even espionage.
Questions Banks must Answer:
Banks in Nigeria should answer these questions
1. Am I being attacked right now?
2. Am I vulnerable to a specific attack?
3. Is my system critical?
If the answer to each of the above questions is No, then it is either, you (the bank) do not want to report it or the complex attack on your system has not been detected.
With the continual increase in system complexity and corresponding ingenious cyber threat, various organizations or Cyber café should identify, evaluate and found solutions to mitigate against their systems vulnerabilities that could be exploited by any of their customers for illegal transactions. Very soon there would be cry of some banks in voicing their concern over the rising cyber crime.
Internet utilizes a public network as the transaction medium and as such, whatever systems being used are exposed to the risk of unauthorized access and hackers attacks, service disruptions and spurious transactions may follow.
Anonymity of cyber space tempts many to commit destructive or illegal acts that they might have otherwise considered. The new and more effective authentication technologies eventually will make anonymous cyber
abuse more difficult.
Changes at the technology level bring new applications, networks, databases, operating systems and hardware. But in the security circle, everyday brings new viruses, attack tools and vulnerabilities that is why security should be an ongoing maintenance and not an annual check up.
But it is also important to note that no security programs, no matter how robust, can completely eliminate the risk of cyber threats. To some organizations, potential costs posed by risk that remain are more than they want to live with.
Some organizations assume that traditional insurance coverage will protect against electronic exposures. In most cases they do not. Traditional insurance programs were based on the world of physical assets and threats and were developed before cyber space was used. It is important to analyze the nature of e-business exposures and breadth of traditional coverage to identify coverage gaps.
By: Mukaila Apata-Akinsemoyin
Mukaila Apata is a System Auditor and Security Administrator with over 18years
of experience in banking systems, programming and system analysis. In addition
to his System Audit expertise, he has a strong background in Unix, Relational
database management software and Globus banking software.
Drop him a line.
is everybody's business!
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Do you Have to Say? Post
Your Comments about this Content Resource Here.
August 18, 2005
Adeyemi Ade says:
I think you just raised a very important issue, Most attention should be focused on home users since they can easily do this without raising any alarm.
August 19, 2005
Kennedy Isesele says:
Sir, your article was just OK at at the right time. Keep up the Good work. What kind of training do I need to become a good system auditor?
August 19, 2005
Just curious. You did mention something about Festac, i would like to know, is that Festac has become a headquarters for fraudsters or why have you decided to highlight Festac. Thank you.
August 23, 2005
Agoro Olayiwola from Abuja says:
INTERESTING. I must commend your efforts in analysing the current cybercrime in the country most especially as it relates to the banking sector. However, what can be done? because once a problem is identified there is need to look for a the immediate and long term solution to the problem(s). Keep up the good work.
September 1, 2005
Kehinde Adeyemi Ige says:
As an experienced Network Administrator I believe the issue of security is critical and also inevitable in such an environment like ours. The number of home users are increasing day to day with Laptop and desktop with the use of Dial-up. We have to setup a standard for both existing and up coming ISP Company's. Thanks for the Topic.
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