3 Nige­rian scam­mers get 235 years of to­tal jail time in US

The Standard Journal - - LIFESTYLES -

The three Nige­rian na­tion­als were part of a 21-mem­ber gang of cy­ber crim­i­nals, of which six, in­clud­ing Ayelotan, Ra­heem, and Me­wase, were ex­tra­dited from South Africa to the South­ern Dis­trict of Mis­sis­sippi in July 2015 to face charges in the case.

Un­til now, the jus­tice depart­ment has charged a to­tal of 21 sus­pects in this case: 12 de­fen­dants have al­ready pleaded guilty to charges re­lated to the con­spir­acy while 11 have been sen­tenced. Once they gained the vic­tim’s trust and af­fec­tion, they would con­vince them to carry out money laun­der­ing schemes and laun­der money from other rack­ets via MoneyGrams and Western Union, or re­send elec­tron­ics and other goods bought with stolen credit cards to coun­tries where they could be sold for a profit.

The gang mem­bers were ar­rested by South African po­lice in a joint op­er­a­tion with U.S. Im­mi­gra­tion and Cus­toms En­force­ment’s Home­land Se­cu­rity In­ves­ti­ga­tions ( HSI) and the U. S. Postal In­spec­tion Ser­vice in De­cem­ber 2015.

Cy­ber-se­cu­rity firm enSilo has re­leased a patch for Win­dows XP and Win­dows Server 2003 that will pro­tect against at­tacks via a hack­ing tool dumped on­line by the Shadow Bro­kers last month, and al­legedly de­vel­oped by the NSA.

Mi­crosoft didn’t patch against ESTEEMAUDIT at­tacks. enSilo re­searchers de­vel­oped a patch for ESTEEMAUDIT be­cause Mi­crosoft has not pro­vided se­cu­rity up­dates to pro­tect against this.

This is be­cause ESTEEMAUDIT only works on Win­dows XP and Win­dows 2003, two oper­at­ing sys­tem that Mi­crosoft stopped sup­port­ing in 2014, and 2015, re­spec­tively.

Af­ter the Shadow Bro­kers dumped a col­lec­tion of NSA hack­ing tools on April 14, a day later, Mi­crosoft an­nounced that its en­gi­neers had se­cretly patched Win­dows against most ex­ploits a month ear­lier, in March.

Af­ter the Wan­naCry ran­somware out- break, Mi­crosoft did some­thing un­char­ac­ter­is­tic and is­sued an up­date for all un­sup­ported ver­sions of its OS. This out-of-band se­cu­rity up­date patched the older OS ver­sions against the ETERNALBLUE ex­ploit, used by the Wan­naCry ran­somware.

Later it was dis­cov­ered that Mi­crosoft had cre­ated the ETERNALBLUE patch in Fe­bru­ary, but didn’t re­lease it, for un­known rea­sons.

Fur­ther­more, the Wash­ing­ton Post found out that the NSA had reached out to Mi­crosoft ear­lier in the year, to tell the com­pany about the stolen ex­ploits and their ca­pa­bil­i­ties. This is the rea­son why Mi­crosoft had re­leased patches since March, a month be­fore the ac­tual Shadow Bro­kers dump.

If Mi­crosoft has a patch for the ESTEEMAUDIT ex­ploit stock­piled on one of its servers, we’ll never know.

Crooks who ped­dle stolen credit cards like to use Amer­i­can fig­ures of wealth and power in their dig­i­tal ad­ver­tise­ments for their shops that run in­ces­santly on var­i­ous cy­ber­crime fo­rums. McDumpals, a hugely pop­u­lar card­ing site that bor­rows the Ron­ald McDon­ald char­ac­ter from McDon­ald’s and caters to bulk buyers. Un­cle Sam’s dump shop, which wants YOU! to buy Amer­i­can. An up-and-com­ing stolen credit card shop called Trump’sDumps, uses the 45th pres­i­dent’s like­ness and prom­ises to make credit card fraud great again.

One rea­son thieves who sell stolen credit cards like to use pop­u­lar Amer­i­can fig­ures in their ads may be that a ma­jor­ity of their clients are peo­ple in the United States. Very of­ten we’re talk­ing about street gang mem­bers in the U. S. who use their pur­chased “dumps” — the data copied from the mag­netic stripes of cards swiped through hacked point-of-sale sys­tems — to make coun­ter­feit copies of the cards. They then use the coun­ter­feit cards in big-box stores to buy mer­chan­dise that they can eas­ily re­sell for cash, such as gift cards, Ap­ple de­vices and gam­ing sys­tems.

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