ICT worker suspected of hacking own bank in Nigeria

News by SC Staff

Godswill Oyegwa Uyoyou, an Information and Communication Technology (ICT) department worker at  Nigeria's Skye Bank branch in Abuja, is wanted by Nigeria's Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) as the suspected head of a group of computer hackers who have stolen about £24 million from the bank.

Local news reports allege that Uyoyou – who was found to use a false address - and others hacked into the bank's computers, redistributing funds between accounts.

Wilson Uwujaren, EFCC spokesman, told local reporters: “One Saturday, he [Uyoyou] took the ‘cyber gang' to the bank under the pretext that he was going to carry out some maintenance work, allowing them access to hardware, and they commenced to penetrate the bank's database,” and then increased the balances of some accounts. Uwujaren said the thieves were in the process of withdrawing money when the alert was raised and so not all transferred money had been withdrawn.

Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) figures show that the country's banking sector lost more than £75 million through internet fraud in 2013, including £7.5 million defrauded from Union Bank Plc by undergraduates at a Nigerian federal university.

In 2011 a cybercrime committee was set up to tackle Nigerian internet-based fraud and cybercrime; it proposed a ‘Draft Cybercrime Act to the President', but this bill is yet to become law. At that time, the number of attempted frauds was falling, while the losses were increasing, with the 2011 annual report of the CBN showing 2,527 reported cases of attempted fraud or forgery, involving £111 million, as against 5,960 cases involving £74 million in 2010.

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