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Nigeria’s cybercriminals scale up their malware creation skills: Palo Alto Networks

Ike Suarez | July 25, 2014
Tools they employ are now similar to more sophisticated cybercriminals’ and espionage agencies.

Cybercriminals based in Nigeria, once notorious only for easily detected "419" phishing scams have scaled up the ladder with regard to their malware creation skills.

A Palo Alto Networks press statement has warned that cybercriminals in this African country have now learned to use the tool more sophisticated criminals and espionage agencies employ to steal business critical data from enterprise network systems of organizations.

The press statement said its warning was based on latest findings of Unit 42, the threat intelligence team of this Santa Ana, California-based provider of network security solutions.

Silver Spaniel

It added that their more sophisticated cybercriminal activities have been codenamed Silver Spaniel and had been detected by WildFire, a Palo Alto Networks solution that rapidly analyses cyberthreats in a cloud-based, virtual and sandbox environment.

The press statement said Nigerian cybercriminals now use remote administration tools (RATs) that provide complete control over infected systems.

These tools are available through underground forums and these tools include commercial RATs such as NetWire.

Traditional antivirus solutions and legacy firewalls are ineffective against such attacks, because these malware have been developed to evade these technologies, according to the statement.

As a result, Nigerian cybercriminals can now target businesses they once lacked  the knowhow to attack, the press statement warned.



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