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Stolen Credentials Selling on Dark Web for Price of 3 Litres of Fuel – Report

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HP has released The Evolution of Cybercrime: Why the Dark Web is Supercharging the Threat Landscape and How to Fight Back – an HP Wolf Security Report.

The findings show cybercrime is being supercharged through “plug and play” malware kits that make it easier than ever to launch attacks. Cyber syndicates are collaborating with amateur attackers to target businesses, putting our online world at risk.

The HP Wolf Security threat team worked with Forensic Pathways, a leading group of global forensic professionals, on a three-month dark web investigation, scraping and analysing over 35 million cybercriminal marketplaces and forum posts to understand how cybercriminals operate, gain trust, and build reputation.

Key findings include:

– Malware is cheap and readily available – Over three quarters (76%) of malware advertisements listed, and 91% of exploits (i.e., code that gives attackers control over systems by taking advantage of software bugs), retail for under ₦4,923.17. The average cost of compromised Remote Desktop Protocol credentials is just ₦2,092.35.

Vendors are selling products in bundles, with plug-and-play malware kits, malware-as-a-service, tutorials, and mentoring services reducing the need for technical skills and experience to conduct complex, targeted attacks – in fact, just 2-3% of threat actors today are advanced coders.

-The irony of ‘honor amongst cyber-thieves’ – Much like the legitimate online retail world, trust and reputation are ironically essential parts of cybercriminal commerce: 77% of cybercriminal marketplaces analysed require a vendor bond – a license to sell – which can cost up to ₦1,230,793.

Eighty-five per cent of these use escrow payments, and 92% have a third-party dispute resolution service. Every marketplace provides vendor feedback scores. Cybercriminals also try to stay a step ahead of law enforcement by transferring reputation between websites – as the average lifespan of a dark net Tor website is only 55 days.

– Popular software is giving cybercriminals a foot in the door – Cybercriminals are focusing on finding gaps in software that will allow them to get a foothold and take control of systems by targeting known bugs and vulnerabilities in popular software.

Examples include the Windows operating system, Microsoft Office, web content management systems, and web and mail servers. Kits that exploit vulnerabilities in niche systems command the highest prices (typically ranging from ₦393,853.76 – ₦1,723,110.20). Zero Days (vulnerabilities that are not yet publicly known) are retailing at tens of thousands of dollars on dark web markets.

“Unfortunately, it’s never been easier to be a cybercriminal. Complex attacks previously required serious skills, knowledge and resource. Now the technology and training is available for the price of 3 litres of fuel.

“And whether it’s having your company and customer data exposed, deliveries delayed or even a hospital appointment cancelled, the explosion in cybercrime affects us all,” comments report author Alex Holland, Senior Malware Analyst at HP Inc.

“At the heart of this is ransomware, which has created a new cybercriminal ecosystem rewarding smaller players with a slice of the profits.

“This is creating a cybercrime factory line, churning out attacks that can be very hard to defend against and putting the businesses we all rely on in the crosshairs,” Holland adds.

HP consulted with a panel of experts from cybersecurity and academia – including ex-black hat hacker Michael ‘Mafia Boy’ Calce and authored criminologist, Dr. Mike McGuire – to understand how cybercrime has evolved and what businesses can do to better protect themselves against the threats of today and tomorrow.

They warned that businesses should prepare for destructive data denial attacks, increasingly targeted cyber campaigns, and cybercriminals using emerging technologies like artificial intelligence to challenge organisations’ data integrity.

To protect against current and future threats, the report offers up the following advice for businesses:

Master the basics to reduce cybercriminals’ chances: Follow best practices, such as multi-factor authentication and patch management; reduce your attack surface from top attack vectors like email, web browsing and file downloads; and prioritise self-healing hardware to boost resilience.

Focus on winning the game: plan for the worst; limit risk posed by your people and partners by putting processes in place to vet supplier security and educate workforces on social engineering; and be process-oriented and rehearse responses to attacks so you can identify problems, make improvements and be better prepared.

Cybercrime is a team sport. Cybersecurity must be too: talk to your peers to share threat information and intelligence in real-time; use threat intelligence and be proactive in horizon scanning by monitoring open discussions on underground forums; and work with third-party security services to uncover weak spots and critical risks that need addressing.

“We all need to do more to fight the growing cybercrime machine,” says Dr. Ian Pratt, Global Head of Security for Personal Systems at HP Inc. “For individuals, this means becoming cyber aware.

Most attacks start with a click of a mouse, so thinking before you click is always important. But giving yourself a safety net by buying technology that can mitigate and recover from the impact of bad clicks is even better.”

“For businesses, it’s important to build resiliency and shut off as many common attack routes as possible,” Pratt continues.

“For example, cybercriminals study patches on release to reverse engineer the vulnerability being patched and can rapidly create exploits to use before organisations have patched. So, speeding up patch management is important.

“Many of the most common categories of threat such as those delivered via email and the web can be fully neutralised through techniques such as threat containment and isolation, greatly reducing an organisation’s attack surface regardless of whether the vulnerabilities are patched or not.”

 


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Police Suspends eMotor Registry Enforcement Following Outcries

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Kayode Egbetokun, inspector general of police, has announced the suspension of the the enforcement of electronic central motor registry registration otherwise e-CMR for vehicle owners in the country.

Police Suspends eMotor Registry Enforcement Following Outcries

Muyiwa Adejobi, force spokesperson, had on Saturday said the IG ordered that the enforcement of the e-CMR should commence on July 29.

The enforcement order sparked an outcry from Nigerians, who accused the police of creating an opportunity to extort vehicle owners.

John Aikpokpo-Martins, chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Section on Public Interest and Development Law, said the directive by Egbetokun to begin enforcing the digitised Central Motor Registry was a blatant disregard for the rule of law.

But in a statement on Sunday, Adejobi announced that the IG has suspended the enforcement of the e-CMR.

He added that there was the need to sensitise the citizens on the initiative, which he said was designed to secure vehicles.

He said, “Following the reconfiguration and commencement of the electronic central motor registry registration process the Police have deemed it necessary to highlight the benefits and effectiveness of the e-CMR initiative which is designed to ensure the safety and security of all types of vehicles including motorcycles by collating data imputed into the system by vehicle owners and acting on such to flag the vehicles if reported stolen.

“The e-CMR will provide a firsthand database to the Force for curbing vehicular crimes as dedicated officers can access real-time comprehensive data of every vehicle on their tablets.

“Similarly, the e-CMR will prevent multiple registrations of vehicles and serve as a database to collate biometric and other data of vehicle owners and individuals, adding value to the national database and incident report portal generated from other Ministries, Departments and Agencies towards general security.”

Adejobi denied that the e-CMR was a revenue-generating platform.

He said, “Furthermore, contrary to news making the rounds and insinuations about the e-CMR, the NPF wishes to state categorically that the e-CMR is not a revenue-generating platform but an initiative to digitalize policing for effectiveness and general safety of lives and property of Nigeria residents. “

Adejobi said the IG ordered the immediate suspension he had earlier given.

He stated, “The Inspector-General of Police, IGP Kayode Egbetokun has ordered an immediate suspension of the proposed enforcement of the e-CMR initially scheduled to commence on the 29th of July, 2024. This is to give ample opportunity for mass enlightenment and education of all citizens and residents on the process, benefits and effectiveness in solving the challenge of vehicle-related crimes, and protection of individual and corporate vehicle ownership.”

Adejobi sought the understanding of the citizens and key into the initiative.


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Osagie Okunbor, Shell Nigeria MD Honoured for Exemplary Leadership

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Osagie Okunbor, managing director, Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited, and country chair, Shell Companies in Nigeria, has been recognised for his “Invaluable contributions to the  Nigerian energy sector and his service to humanity.”

Osagie Okunbor, Shell Nigeria MD Honoured for Exemplary Leadership

Former Deputy Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria, and Director, Heritage for Life Foundation, Tunde Lemo (left), presenting the Foundation’s  Award for Exemplary Leadership and Service to Humanity to the Managing Director, Shell Petroleum Development Company and Country Chair, Shell Companies in Nigeria, Osagie Okunbor, at a ceremony in Lagos on Thursday.

Osagie received the Award for Exemplary Leadership and Service to Humanity from a Lagos-based NGO, Heritage for Life Foundation, at a ceremony held in Lagos.

Tunde Lemo, director of the Foundation, and former deputy governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), handed out the award which he said was instituted to promote “moral qualities and attitudes pivotal to the growth of a stable and functional society” by recognising individuals who exbibit the virtues.

An elated Okunbor said: “I’m pleased at this recognition which calls for greater commitment to the highest standards of leadership and service to humanity. With the support of my colleagues and other stakeholders, I hope to continue to  contribute to the development of our country.”

The award from the foundation was the second bestowed on the longest serving Country Chair of Shell companies in Nigeria in the past month.

At the 60th anniversary of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR), Okunbor was conferred with the Diamond Ambassador of Brand Nigeria as part of NIPR’s Diamond Jubilee National Awards.

Presenting the award, Dr. Ike Neliaku, president and chairman of Council, NIPR noted that Okunbor earned the award having demonstrated exceptional leadership as Chairman of the largest energy company in Nigeria that had made significant contributions to the socio-economic development of Nigeria in more than seven decades.

Okunbor’s contributions to the energy sector are the highlights of a career in Shell which has seen him serve in Nigeria, the UK, Brunei and the Netherlands before his appointment as Managing Director, SPDC and Country Chair in 2015.

In May, the executive council of the Nigerian Gas Association recognised Okunbor for “outstanding contributions towards the advancement of Nigeria’s gas sector.”

 

 

 

 

 


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NNPC Cuts Investment In Dangote Refinery From 20 Percent to 7.2 Percent 

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Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited has reduced its investment in the Dangote Refinery from 20 per cent to 7.2 per cent, according to Aliko Dangote, chief executive officer, Dangote Refinery.

NNPC Cuts Investment In Dangote Refinery From 20 Percent to 7.2 Percent 

Aliko Dangote

Dangote, who made this known in Lagos on Sunday and the NNPC confirmed the development, saying it assessed its investment portfolio to align with its goals.

“NNPC no longer owns a 20 per cent stake in the Dangote refinery. They were met to pay their balance in June, but have yet to fulfil the obligations. Now, they only own a 7.2% stake in the refinery,” Dangote said.

In September 2021, NNPC had acquired a 20 per cent stake in the Dangote Refinery for $2.76 billion.

NNPC had initially financed the 20 per cent stake through a $1.036 billion funding from Lekki Refinery Funding Limited, of which $1 billion was paid to Dangote Refinery and $36 million was for transaction costs.

The remaining $1.76 billion was to be paid through a combination of a $2.5/barrel discount on 300,000 barrels per day of crude oil supplied to the refinery, and 100 per cent of NNPC’s portion of any dividends declared by the refinery.

Reacting to the statement by Dangote, the NNPC in a press release on Sunday evening, said the company “made a commercial decision to cap our investment at the amount already paid.”

“Several months ago, we made a commercial decision to cap our investment at the amount already paid. This decision was taken by NNPC Ltd and has no impact on our business.

“NNPC Limited periodically assesses its investment portfolio to ensure alignment with the company’s strategic goals.

“The decision to cap its equity participation at the paid-up sum was made and communicated to Dangote Refinery several months ago,” Olufemi Soneye, spokesman, NNPC, said in a statement on Sunday evening.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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