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NeFF moves against ransomeware, seek prosecution of e-payment fraudsters

By Babajide Komolafe

The Nigeria Electronic Fraud Forum (NeFF) has commenced moves to protect the economy from the ransomeware attack. The Forum also said it will expedite collaboration with the securities and law enforcement agencies to secure prosecution of electronic fraudsters.

Chairman of NeFF and Director, Banking and Payment System Department, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Dipo Fatokun, disclosed this while listing the agenda of the forum for 2016  at the meeting of the forum in Lagos.

Ransomware is a type of malware that restricts access to an infected computer system in some way, and demands that the user pay a ransom to the malware operators to remove the restriction.

According to Fatokun , “Ransomware is not a threat in Nigeria for now, but it is just by our border post. It is something that has been reported in Ghana and if it has been reported in Ghana, it means it can happen here.

“We don’t want it to happen here and that is why we are organising this forum. Ransomware is nothing but holding the computer system of an organisation to ransom, kidnapping it so to say electronically and demanding that ransom be paid before the system can be released for use. If this happens to any bank in Nigeria, you know the effect it will have on the customers and even the financial system.

“Because we don’t want it to happen, we are meeting to put in preventive measures that will ensure we do not experience that in the Nigerian banking space.”

On the prosecution of epayment fraudsters, Fatokun said, “Top on the list of NeFF agenda in 2016, is the setting up of a dedicated e-Payment and Card Crime Unit in the Nigeria Police Force (NPF). This followed a request made by the Forum when it visited the Inspector General of Police last year.

“We requested that the police force, in collaboration with the Bankers’ Committee, should set up a dedicated unit for e-payment and card crime. Why did we make this request? It was noticed that one of the things that has not been done too well is the apprehension and prosecution of fraudsters. So, we believe that with this unit running in the NPF, the level of prosecution will increase and of course, this would serve as a deterrent to fraudsters.

“We also have other things that we intend to do, such as our collaboration with the EFCC on the use of Nigerian cards abroad and we also intend to collaborate with the FBI in the United States on combating electronic fraud. So, these will help us in reducing further, the spate of electronic fraud in Nigeria,” he explained.


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