In August, KrebsOnSecurity warned that scammers were contacting people and asking them to unleash ransomware inside their employer’s network, in exchange for a percentage of any ransom amount paid by the victim company. This week, authorities in Nigeria arrested a suspect in connection with the scheme — a young man who said he was trying to save up money to help fund a new social network.
Imagine waking up each morning knowing the identities of thousands of people who are about to be mugged for thousands of dollars each. You know exactly when and where each of those muggings will take place, and you’ve shared this information in advance with the authorities each day for a year with no outward indication that they are doing anything about it. How frustrated would you be?
Such is the curse of the fraud fighter known online by the handles “Brianna Ware” and “BWare” for short, a longtime member of a global group of volunteers who’ve infiltrated a cybercrime gang that disseminates fraudulent checks tied to a dizzying number of online scams.
The fraudsters behind the often laughable Nigerian prince email scams have long since branched out into far more serious and lucrative forms of fraud, including account takeovers, phishing, dating scams, and malware deployment. Combating such a multifarious menace can seem daunting, but in truth it calls for concerted efforts to tackle the problem from many different angles. This post examines the work of a large, private group of volunteers dedicated to doing just that.