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Check mobile banking fraud ‘before it gets worse’, Nigeria tech group warns

Check mobile banking fraud ‘before it gets worse’, Nigeria tech group warns

Information Security Society of Africa-Nigeria (ISSAN) has urged players in the cyber security space to check mobile banking fraud before it gets out of hand.

Although card-related fraud tops the list of cyber crimes in Nigeria’s  banking sector, the group says mobile banking fraud has been increasing at the speed of thought in the last few months.

Mr. David Isiavwe, President of ISSAN dropped this hint at the monthly general meeting of the group held at the Union Bank headquarters, Lagos.

According to him, 75 percent of cyber crime in the banking sector can be traced to card-related fraud while mobile banking fraud, which comes second at 20%, is growing speedily and needs to be checked before it gets worse. Meanwhile, other forms of attack share 5%.

“The major kind of cyber fraud we have seen in the banking system in the last one month is card-related fraud; over 70% of frauds are card-related. On top of card-related fraud, there is another type of fraud mentioned about two months ago which is creeping up gradually, that is mobile banking fraud. It is at 20% while other types of frauds share 5%,” he says.

The ISSAN President also revealed that fraud rate in mobile banking in the last two months was 10% and by the month of June it hit 20% and will get worse if nothing is done.

The ISSAN president believes that the cyberspace will continue to be busy with a lot of positive and negative activities, stressing that there is no limitation when it comes to the negative activities.

“We have come to a conclusion that cyberspace is here to stay; it is going to be very busy with a lot of positive and negative activities. There is no limitation in the negative activities, just as we are gathering here to look at what has happened in the last one month that is how bad guys are also gathering every day, week and month to see what they can do to launch attacks,” he says.

According to him, ISSAN discovered few months ago a disturbing development, that number of attacks through scam messages and general attacks coming out every hour is more than 500,000.

Mr. David Isiavwe, president of ISSAN

“Initially I thought was a marketing strategy by some company to scare people to buy their product, but serious research institutes, organisations and consultancy firms have carried out their own research and found out that it is truly what is happening and it is becoming more dangerous,” he adds.

The President of ISSAN also expressed disappointment over free disclosure of personal information on the Internet by Nigerians without caution, describing the situation as scary and dangerous.

“I saw on Facebook where somebody said he wants to launch Indian celebration in Nigeria and those who are interested should send their contacts so they can get back to them, I was surprised to see that a lot of people responded to that, giving out their numbers and other details.

“So, that says to me that even though we are shouting that number of attacks is increasing everyday, but the users themselves are the ones aiding, abetting and enhancing attacks on themselves and this is a scary development,” Isiavwe adds.

He explained that people need to be more aware of various tricks cyber attackers are coming up with on daily basis.

In his words, “the bottom line is that the bad guys who are designing ransomware are expanding their scope. They are coming out with new variants of ransomware that can easily infect systems and when you are attacked by a ransomware you have only two options, to pay or not to pay, but when you don’t pay you lose your files.”

The ISSAN members at the meeting agreed on fashioning ways to further enlighten the public on how to stay safe from cyber-attacks. The group deliberated on using things like TV drama series and primetime programmes on radio among others to champion this cause.

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Donatus Anichukwueze Technology Writer at Technology Times Media e-mail: donatus.anichukwueze@technologytimes.ng