Feeds

Cyber-fraudsters strike gold at South African government

32 arrested but £12m missing

Boost IT visibility and business value

The South African government has lost more than £12m (199m Rand) over the last three years thanks to a cybercrime syndicate using spyware.

The scam has been running since 2005 and is still going on despite the arrest of 32 people. Thieves have targetted various government departments in four provinces. A number of civil servants have also been sacked.

Crooks are using corrupt government officials and suppliers to fix a small piece of kit the size of a memory stick to PCs. This can then access saved and unsaved information, according to South Africa's Mail & Guardian.

The paper said it has taken so long to sort out the problem because officials were originally concentrating on finding the crooks, but now they are focussed on stopping it happening again.

The gang is also believed to have targeted banks in the country.

Geoff Sweeney, CTO with security firm Tier-3, said that spyware attacks are hard to stop because of their unpredictable nature, and because of convergance between viruses, trojans and other malware.

"These fraudsters appeared to be using a sophisticated combination of attacks that consisted of a physical device and a malware component, as witnessed by the fact they have been getting away with their crimes for nigh on three years."

Sweeney said such attacks showed the need for several layers of defences. ®

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft: We plan to CLEAN UP this here Windows Store town
Paid-for apps that provide free downloads? Really
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
Who needs hackers? 'Password1' opens a third of all biz doors
GPU-powered pen test yields more bad news about defences and passwords
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Hear ye, young cyber warriors of the realm: GCHQ wants you
Get involved, get a job and then never discuss work ever again
Chinese hackers spied on investigators of Flight MH370 - report
Classified data on flight's disappearance pinched
Microsoft cries UNINSTALL in the wake of Blue Screens of Death™
Cache crash causes contained choloric calamity
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?