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Wire-Wire Scams: Evolution beyond the 419

Posted by on November 7, 2016.

Most of the security industry pays little attention to 419 scammers nowadays, even though the classic Advance Fee Fraud (AFF) does continue to reel in victims. However, the bigger money nowadays is in what is sometimes referred to as the Wire-Wire Scam, as discussed at some length for SecureWorks by Joe Stewart and James Bettke: Wire Wire: A West African Cyber Threat.

Palo Alto Networks® Unit 42 has also been tracking the evolution of cybercrime in West Africa, it seems, particularly with regard to the increased use of commodity malware tools: they argue (quite convincingly) that the old view of the typical Nigerian scammer as relying on social engineering rather than technical skills is quite outdated. Palo Alto says:

Given our findings, we believe that historical assessments concerning this threat warrant reassessment as these actors have now demonstrated that they pose a formidable threat to businesses and government organizations worldwide.

The paper by Peter Renals and Simon Conant is obtainable here: SILVERTERRIER: The Next Evolution in Nigerian Cybercrime.

Commentary by Zeljka Zorz for HelpNet Security here: Nigerian scammers: Then and now

David Harley 


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