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Businesses the New Target for Nigeria’s 419 Cyber-Scammers
Date:7/26/2014

gely inexperienced in recognizing the social engineering tricks these scammers spent years refining. Post offices, phone calls and faxes originally used had substantial up-front costs for these 419 scammers, but email, and now social networking sites, are free, making the overhead to reach millions of potential victims virtually nil.

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As Caruso points out, “Anybody with an inbox has most likely seen 419 scam attempts many times. All those lotteries you seem to have won, all those super-wealthy long-lost relatives you never knew you had leaving you a substantial inheritance, strangers that seem to have decided you are such a good person they chose you to carry out their dying altruistic wishes, and when current events dictate, even those pleas from warzones or disaster areas asking for help to transfer funds out of the country, which of course you will be handsomely rewarded for doing, are all old favorites which are still used every day. Unfortunately, those who can least afford to be stung are the ones who typically do get caught in the web, like elderly folks on a fixed income, the unemployed and desperate, and poorer developing countries who are just plugging into the online world and have never seen their tactics before. Everybody gets tempted the first time they see the notification of their lottery winnings, but these days most know it’s all bull and move on. That’s most likely the reason 419 scammers are starting to change their crime model, moving from individuals to businesses and looking for valuable data to steal right off a business system or network instead of playing the effort-intensive long cons they’ve relied on for so long. Now all they have to do is get one person in an organization to open an email attachment or follow a link which will install a RAT (Remote Access Trojan), and they will have the access they want and often free reign over all the organization’s sensitive data and digital assets to
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