In 1998, there was one daring bank robbery in one of the banks here in Nairobi. The robbers are said to have gone to the bank and made their entry as the bank staff were getting in. Upon entering, they held the bank staff captive and ushered in customers when the time for banking came. They are even said to have had a “Fellowship” with the bank staff… singing hymns and saying prayers. Earlier on, another bank robbery that earned the perpetrators 96 Million from Stan Chart was carried out…. the robberies of the 90’s were quite daring really. Now, come to think of it, I have not heard of such bank robberies safe for those carried out on money on transit via security companies. These acts are now rare. They are so yesterday!!
Yes, we are already in the future. Come to think of it: When is the last time you watched in the Evening News “Daring Bank Robbery /hoard Up….. Bla bla” ? Is it that money no longer criminally leave the banks any more? What has changed? Where have the robbers gone to? Church /Mosque?
Here is the bitter truth that your banker will never let you know about the shaky custody of your money. That your money has been probably stolen a million times but the bank has always taken up the loss and “returned” your money!! That they are always battling cyber attacks that lay their IT systems bare making it possible for cyber criminals to actually access your account and make purchases using your money… “while you are comfortably snoring away in a holiday resort somewhere in Diani Beach assuredly that all is well with your sweat’s money!!
How do they do it?
According to Vikram Thakur, a principal manager at Symantec Security Response.,
“Online theft is almost always part of a much grander scheme. Though sometimes a high-skilled individual or single group of cybercriminals will handle all parts of an operation, most cybercrime is split up into several steps, each handled by a different player”
Have a look at this diagram and you will understand how the big job is made to look so easy:
WHERE IT ALL STARTS:
1. An ill-bent developer comes up with a malware
2. The malware developer sells the malicious software on an underground black market to hackers.
3. Criminal Hackers use the malware on the Internet using dark techniques to buy tools to steal users’ bank account credentials, services to bring down websites, or viruses to infect computers.
4. By collecting PII (personally Identifiable Information) of unsuspecting victims, it is easy to spam them and who knows, there will be innumerable account holders who will surrender pertinent information leading to “break-in” and ultimate “robbery”.
5. More than ever before, PII is easy to buy in the black market. “Hiring a criminal hacker is easy, because today’s malware requires hackers to have little technological knowledge to infect hundreds or thousands of computers”, says Samani. with only KES 10,000/= one can purchase more than 1 million email addresses. These are details that could have been phished out from a single bank!! Then, the drama starts!
6. Once unsuspecting victims’ credentials or bank account information has been collected, hackers may resell that data to someone who repackages it in a useful way and redistributes it on the black market. But, don’t worry if you do not a tycoon…..! Because most online criminals are quite savvy, stealth and utmost calculative. They are looking for tycoon accounts that they can hit on- A jackpot.
7. MONEY MULE: This is the person who will be passed the role of actually taking up the responsibility by ensuring that the looted accounts’ contents have been “darkly transacted” usually through online purchases and reselling. Most of the criminals want to clean up any trace of their activity or identity by not being the final handlers of traceable components of cyber robberies. By using a money mule, they are in essence increasing the distance between their act and the final transaction and hence ensuring an assuring coverage of their tracks
Want more details on how to counter cyber crime? Please register for our CYBER HACKING COURSE THIS JUNE on the following link:
If you think that the cyber crime incidents are nothing to worry about, have a look at these statistics released in 2013 about the status of cyber crime in Africa.