Nigeria a Growing Target for Internet Crime — Yes, That Nigeria

While it’s Symantec doing the ranking, it’s still interesting and hilarious to note that Nigeria has risen seven spots in their internet crime ranking. The immediate cause appears to be an increase in bandwidth and smartphones there — Nigeria is one of the top smartphone using countries in Africa.

I would argue that the proximate cause, though, is Nigeria’s infamous tradition of fraud-oriented criminality. “Live by the sword” is in far more ways than you’d think the security equivalent of physics’ F=MA. (only nobody seems to bother teaching it to security practitioners, and I doubt the relevant ones would listen — even if it was taught by a naked lecturer)

This is not to discount offense for purposes of a good defense, nor the tremendous educational value of having tried a few attacks yourself. But neither of those are anywhere near making the attack a way of life like rather many Nigerians have, or indeed those that tend to fall victim to the “sword” quote’s more literal interpretation.

“Nigeria’s reputation is so bad that a few years ago it launched a rebranding campaign:

“At international airports, in trains, in shopping malls, and almost everywhere, every Nigerian is a marked person,” Dora Akunyili, information minister and self-styled chief image maker said at the launch of the re-branding campaign. “We are pulled aside for questioning. We are seen as potential drug pushers or fraudsters. We are unfortunately denied the benefit of the doubt.”

For some reason the slogan “Nigeria: Good People, Great Nation” never caught on in the rest of the world. Maybe it should have added, “At least we’re not Goldman Sachs.”[…]

It should be noted that Nigeria is a magnet for irony. Just two years ago the nation charged Dick Cheney and Halliburton with bribery. That’s like Russia telling Ireland it has a drinking problem.”

““Nigeria is a target for the cyber criminals globally. The booming economy, increase in bandwidth and the proliferation of mobile devices are some of the reasons why Nigeria is such a huge attraction for cyber criminals. In fact, Nigeria has become one of the largest users of smartphones in Africa. Over 20 million malicious threats and attacks were released into the cyberspace in the last twelve months.

“The threats are here. The problem is that Nigeria does not really appreciate the magnitude of cybercrime and how it can derail an economy.”

Symantec has ranked Nigeria 59th on its latest Internet security report. Besides, Nigeria ranked 66th position at the same period in 2011. The security report is one of the most comprehensive sources of internet data in the world. Sheldon Hand, Symantec’s territory manager for Indian Oceans, West, East and Central Africa (IWECA) reiterated Love’s position on the state of cyber security in Nigeria.”


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