Nige­rian scam groups tar­get small and medium-sized firms in Tai­wan

The China Post - - LOCAL - BY STEPHANIE CHAO

Trend Mi­cro Inc. ( ) has is­sued a warn­ing to Tai­wanese small- and medi­um­sized en­ter­prises about the new­est Nige­rian hack­ing scheme that will not only steal in­for­ma­tion, but also can­cel trans­ac­tions ini­ti­ated by en­ter­prises and trans­fer the money to the hacker’s bank ac­counts in­stead.

To avoid los­ing money and dam­age to a com­pany’s rep­u­ta­tion, Trend Mi­cro is en­cour­ag­ing en­ter­prises to strengthen their i nfor­ma­tion se­cu­rity mea­sures so as to de­fend them­selves from the two Nige­rian hack­ing groups be­hind the cy­ber­at­tacks. The two groups are usu­ally re­ferred to as “Uche” and “Okiki.”

Apart from

in­stalling

in- for­ma­tion se­cu­rity pro­grams, en­ter­prises are also be­ing en­cour­aged to im­ple­ment ex­pert sup­port ser­vices in or­der to re­ceive per­son­al­ized help and proac­tive cy­ber­se­cu­rity mea­sures to mon­i­tor po­ten­tial virus at­tacks and re­ceive real- time warn­ings for hack­ing threats.

Ac­cord­ing to Chien Shengt­sai ( ), se­nior ad­vi­sor at Trend Mi­cro, en­ter­prises should be aware of not only ad­vanced threat­en­ing pro­grams that could cause havoc for a com­pany’s oper­a­tions, but are also warn­ing that a sim­ple back­door pro­gram will be enough for a hacker to break through and de­feat stan­dard se­cu­rity mea­sures.

“For­ward- l ook­ing Re­search Team” (

), a sub­sidiary of Trend Mi­cro, has been mon­i­tor­ing the two Nige­rian- based scam

Threat groups for some time.

The two scam groups spe­cial­ize in at­tack­ing small- and medium- sized en­ter­prises in de­vel­op­ing coun­tries, and the hack­ers only need Hawk­Eye (

), a back­door pro­gram usu­ally priced at US$35, to break into a com­pany’s data­base.

En­ter­prises are ad­vised not to let their guard down. Chien said while the scam­mers’ use of mal­ware is rel­a­tively com­mon­place, their meth­ods have be­come more so­phis­ti­cated than ever.

“Uche and Okiki are not the one-man scam­ming groups of the past, and will not set­tle for steal­ing in­for­ma­tion to re­sell it.” Chien said, “The groups are re­source­ful with the stolen data, and will not hes­i­tate to use it to ex­ploit more profit from the hacked com­pa­nies.”

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