Major League Cyber Criminal Arrested in Nigeria

The cyber crime unit of the Nigeria Police Force have arrested a 37-year-old man who is believed to have led major phishing campaigns, business email compromise schemes and other malicious behavior that targeted companies and individuals. 

The operation was conducted by Interpol’s African Joint Operation Against Cybercrime, a recently established branch within the organisation’s cyber crime directorate. The police operation commenced last May in collaboration with private sector partners including Group-IBPalo Alto Networks Unit 42, and Trend Micro

Garba Baba Umar, assistant inspector general of the Nigeria Police Force and head of Nigeria’s Interpol National Central BureauI said “I hope the results of Operation Delilah will stand as a reminder to cyber criminals across the world that law enforcement will continue to pursue them, and that this arrest will bring comfort to victims of the suspect’s alleged campaigns,”

Interpol said they were able to research and apprehend the suspected crime gang leader in the joint operation. “The suspect is alleged to have run a transnational cybercrime syndicate that launched mass phishing campaigns and business email compromise schemes targeting companies and individual victims,” Interpol has said in a statement.

The suspect is alleged to have run a transnational cyber crime syndicate that launched mass phishing campaigns and business email compromise schemes targeting companies and individual victims. 

“Law enforcement and cyber security firms have witnessed the striking increase in many forms of cybercrime in recent years” according to Interpol. The recent explosive increase in cyber crime has been called a “parallel pandemic” to that of COVID-19. According to Cybersecurity Ventures, by 2025, cyber crime will cost the global economy $19.5tn USD annually.

The various law enforcement agencies involved gathered intelligence on criminal activities and supplied it to the Interpol Africa unit, which also worked with police forces from Canada, Australia, and the US to track the activities. They provided a multi-continental mapping of the suspect’s movements as he journeyed from one country to another, ultimately leading to the arrest at Murtala Mohammed International Airport in Lagos. “This case underlines both the global nature of cybercrime and the commitment required to deliver a successful arrest through a global to regional operational approach in combatting cybercrime,” said Bernardo Pillot, Interpol’s Assistant Director, Cybercrime Operations..

This  operation marks a step forward in internationally coordinated efforts to address the increasingly global nature of cyber crime.

Source:  Cyber Security Intelligence