Nigerian arrested in U.S. over alleged payroll hacking theft of $800,000

nigerian arrested in u.s. over alleged payroll hacking theft of $800,000
nigerian arrested in u.s. over alleged payroll hacking theft of $800,000

Charles Onus, a Nigerian, has been arrested by the Federal Bureau of  Investigation (FBI) for allegedly diverting $800,000 into prepaid debit cards, barely a month after Abidemi Rufai, an aide to Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun state, was arrested for fraud in the US.

According to a statement on the United States Department of Justice website, Mr Onus was arrested and detained in San Francisco on April 14.

On June 2, a suspect who is accused of hacking over 5,500 company user accounts was arraigned in Manhattan federal court. 

Over 5,500 company user accounts were allegedly obtained using a cyber-intrusion technique referred to as “credential stuffing” by him between July 2017 and about 2018.

The statement read; 

    “As alleged, Onus did this as effectively as someone who commits bank burglary, but with no need for a blowtorch or bolt-cutters. Thanks to the FBI and IRS-CI, Onus is in custody and facing serious federal charges.

    “During a credential stuffing attack, a cyber threat actor collects stolen credentials, or username and password pairs, obtained from other large-scale data breaches of other companies.  The threat actor then systematically attempts to use those stolen credentials to obtain unauthorized access to accounts held by the same user with other companies and providers, to compromise accounts where the user has maintained the same password.

    “After Onus successfully gained unauthorised access to a company user account, he changed the bank account information designated by the user of the account so that Onus would receive the user’s payroll to a prepaid debit card that was under Onus’ control.

    “From at least in or about July 2017 through at least in or about 2018, at least approximately 5,500 company user accounts were compromised and more than approximately $800,000 in payroll funds were fraudulently diverted to prepaid debit cards, including those under the control of Onus.”

Another Nigerian arrested in U.S for allegedly stealing $800,000 in payroll hacking

The 34-year-old Nigerian national has now been charged with “one count of computer fraud for causing damage to a protected computer” which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.

The statement added; 

“One count of computer fraud for unauthorised access to a protected computer to further intended fraud, and one count of receipt of stolen money, each of which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison; one count of wire fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison; and one count of aggravated identity theft, which carries a mandatory sentence of two years in prison to be served consecutively to any other sentence imposed.”

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