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Interpol arrests scammers behind malware-based attacks

Three men are suspected of using remote access trojans (RATs) such as Agent Tesla to reroute financial transactions.

Interpol's operation codenamed 'Killer Bee' led to the arrest of three Nigerian nationals behind cyber operations targeting businesses across Southeast Asia, the agency announced.

The suspects are thought to have used RAT to reroute financial transactions stealing online connection details from corporate organizations, including oil and gas companies in Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and North Africa.

The suspects employed malware dubbed 'Agent Tesla' that first appeared in 2014. Scammers use Agent Tesla for its keylogging, screen capture, form-grabbing, credential stealing, and other capabilities. Suspects delivered the malware via phishing emails.

Scammers used methods that are called business email compromise (BEC) scams. In a BEC scam, criminals send an email message impersonating someone you know and trust, for example, the company's CEO.

According to the European Union Agency for Cybersecurity (ENISA) report, BEC cost businesses over €26 billion in 2020. The FBI said that complaints on BEC and other email compromises cost $1.8 billion in 2020.

Arrests took place in several locations in Nigeria and were a part of a global operation named 'Killer Bee,' involving Interpol and law enforcement agencies in 11 countries.

One of the arrested scammers, Hendrix Omorume, was charged and convicted of three counts of serious financial fraud and faces a 12-month-long prison sentence. Two others are still on trial.

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