West African fraudsters have been identified as the actors behind a worldwide email scam in which more than $60 million has been stolen from small and midsize businesses and their banks.
One ringleader, identified only as “Mike,” was arrested by Interpol on Monday, with help from security company Trend Micro. On Thursday morning another security company, SecureWorks, released the result of an exhaustive investigation of another ring of Nigeria-based cybercriminals.
On Monday, Interpol and the Nigerian Economic and Financial Crime Commission arrested a 40-year-old Nigerian business email compromise mastermind they identified only as “Mike” in Port Harcourt, Nigeria.
The authorities believe Mike is behind scams that have siphoned more than $60 million from hundreds of victims worldwide. (SecureWorks researchers say this person was not in the ring they investigated.) In one case, a target was conned into paying out $15.4 million. Interpol did not respond to requests for an interview.
The network included more than 40 perpetrators who compromised email accounts of small to midsize businesses in the