Microsoft working with Nigeria to crack down on scams
Information from the company already has resulted in the closing of three ISPs
IDG News Service - The Nigerian government and Microsoft Corp. signed an agreement Friday calling for the software company to help law enforcement break up crime rings that use the Internet for fraud and theft.
It's the first-ever agreement that Microsoft has signed with an African country to aid law enforcement efforts, said Neil Holloway, Microsoft's Europe, Middle East and Africa president. Holloway spoke with Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, executive chairman of Nigeria's Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), and Ambassador M.K. Ndanusa at the Nigerian High Commission in London.
Scams originating in Nigeria such as those called "419," which often seek to coax gullible e-mail users into revealing sensitive financial data, have done "unquestionable damage to our country's image," Ribadu said. The EFCC was created two years ago to address Internet crime, money laundering and corruption.
Microsoft's aid will include providing information to law enforcement officials in addition to training, Holloway said. The company has already been working with Nigerian authorities over the past three to six months, he said.
"We think we have a responsibility ... to make an impact in this particular area," Holloway said.
Information contributed by Microsoft already has resulted in the shutdown of three Internet service providers, Ribadu said. Since Nigeria created the EFCC, 17 people have been tried and convicted for Internet-related crime, and up to 1,000 are in jail awaiting trials. He said the country has moved to deny bail to those accused of computer-related crime.
"Unfortunately, we did not do anything for a very long period of time," Ribadu said, noting that scams started as far back as 18 years ago in Nigeria. "But in the last few years, things have changed."
The average sentence of those who have been convicted is around seven years, Ribadu said. The government also seizes properties and other assets of criminals. The Nigerian government has returned stolen funds to victims in Hong Kong, the U.K. and Brazil, he said.
- Best iPhone, iPad Business Apps for 2014
- 14 Tech Conventions You Should Attend in 2014
- 10 Desktop Apps to Power Your Windows PC
- How to Add New Job Skills Without Going Back to School
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- Cybersecurity Imperatives Reinvent Your Network Security With Palo Alto Networks The Rise of CyberSecurity
- 10 Things Your Next Firewall Must do Next-Generation Firewalls Defined
- Firewall Buyers Guide Operate as the core of your network security infrastructure
- Getting Started With a Zero Trust Approach to Network Security The Traditional Approach to Network Security is Failing. View Now>>
- Live Webcast On-demand webinar: "Mobility Mayhem: Balancing BYOD with Enterprise Security" Check out this on-demand webinar to hear Sophos senior security expert John Shier deep dive into how BYOD impacts your enterprise security strategy...
- Live Webcast Endpoint Backup & Restore: Protect Everyone, Everywhere Arek Sokol from the bleeding-edge IT team at Genentech/Roche explains how he leverages cross-platform enterprise endpoint backup in the public cloud as part...
- Streamline Software Asset Management, Compose a software Management Symphony Keeping track of your organization's software is easy with effective software management solutions from CDW. View the videos in our software solutions channel
- Druva inSync: Endpoint Data Protection & Governance CLICK HERE to watch this video about protecting corporate data on laptops and mobile devices, sponsored by Druva. All Security White Papers | Webcasts