Now on Demand: Threat Detection and Incident Response (TDIR) Summit - All Sessions Available
Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

SecurityWeekSecurityWeek

Cybercrime

Nigerian Authorities Arrest 11 Members of Prolific BEC Fraud Group

Nigerian authorities have arrested 11 individuals believed to be members of the business email compromise (BEC) crime ring tracked as SilverTerrier.

The 11 suspects were arrested as part of a 10-day operation (December 13-22, 2021) in which the Nigerian Police collaborated with Interpol and private security firms Palo Alto Networks and Group-IB.

Nigerian authorities have arrested 11 individuals believed to be members of the business email compromise (BEC) crime ring tracked as SilverTerrier.

The 11 suspects were arrested as part of a 10-day operation (December 13-22, 2021) in which the Nigerian Police collaborated with Interpol and private security firms Palo Alto Networks and Group-IB.

The individuals are believed to be collectively involved in BEC attacks targeting more than 50,000 victims. On the laptop of one of the suspects, authorities found more than 800,000 potential victim domain credentials, Interpol says.

[ READ: Three Nigerians Arrested for Cybercrime Operation Targeting 150 Countries ]

Another suspect was observed monitoring conversations that 16 companies had with their clients and diverting funds whenever transactions were to be made, while a third is believed to have been involved in BEC attacks across West African countries such as Gambia, Ghana and Nigeria.

Also referred to as the TMT BEC gang, SilverTerrier has been active since 2014, compromising thousands of organizations worldwide and gathering numerous factions under its umbrella.

In 2019, 480 threat actors were linked to SilverTerrier attacks and the group was observed launching up to 245,637 BEC attacks per month, hitting organizations across many sectors.

A rather effective scheme, BEC fraud incurred losses of more than $1.8 billion in 2020 and of over $1.7 billion in 2019, and the SilverTerrier fraudsters are believed to be responsible for much of these losses.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

The arrests were made as part of Operation Falcon II, which follows the November 2020 arrest of three Nigerian nationals believed to be SilverTerrier members. The group is estimated to have compromised “500,000 government and private sector companies by that time,” Group-IB says.

Related: Two Nigerians Sentenced to Prison in U.S. for Role in BEC Scams

Related: Nigerian Man Living in U.S. Charged Over Role in BEC Scheme

Related: Atlanta Man Charged for Role in BEC Fraud Scheme

Written By

Ionut Arghire is an international correspondent for SecurityWeek.

Click to comment

Trending

Daily Briefing Newsletter

Subscribe to the SecurityWeek Email Briefing to stay informed on the latest threats, trends, and technology, along with insightful columns from industry experts.

Join the session as we discuss the challenges and best practices for cybersecurity leaders managing cloud identities.

Register

SecurityWeek’s Ransomware Resilience and Recovery Summit helps businesses to plan, prepare, and recover from a ransomware incident.

Register

People on the Move

Wendy Zheng named as CFO and Joe Diamond as CMO at cyber asset management firm Axonius.

Intelligent document processing company ABBYY has hired Clayton C. Peddy as CISO.

Digital executive protection services provider BlackCloak has appointed Ryan Black as CISO.

More People On The Move

Expert Insights