Nigeria News

Hackers Makes Away With Almost ₦3 Billion Of Flutterwave Customers Money

Hackers have made away with over ₦2.9 billion naira of Flutterwave’s money after a successful hacking of flutterwave account

The fintech Unicorn is seeking to freeze personal accounts in 27 Nigerian banks, and fintechs, where the monies were transferred. More details

According to documents seen by Techpoint Africa, ₦2,949,557,867 has been illegally transferred from the accounts of African fintech unicorn, Flutterwave.

On February 19, 2023, Flutterwave’s legal counsel, Albert Onimole, reported the case to the Deputy Commissioner of Police, State Criminal Intelligence Department, Panti, Yaba, Lagos.

Per Onimole’s letter, the hack on Flutterwave’s accounts occurred about two weeks ago. It was said that the money was initially transferred to 28 accounts in 63 transactions. While the incident was reported to the police on February 13, 2023, with the list of accounts that had received the money, the police could not freeze the funds.

According to Flutterwave, some commercial banks allowed the money to be moved to other accounts, widening the money trail.

To investigate accounts holding the stolen funds across various financial institutions in Nigeria, S.A. Adedesin, Legal Officer, State CID, Panti, Yaba, Lagos, filed a suit in the Magistrate Court of Lagos (Yaba Magisterial District sitting at Yaba) to support Flutterwave’s claims.

The suit is between the Commissioner of Police and the following financial institutions.

Access Bank
Providus Bank
Union Bank
Keystone Bank
First City Monument Bank (FCMB)
Kuda Bank
Zenith Bank
First Bank of Nigeria
Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB)
United Bank for Africa (UBA)
Polaris Bank
Wema Bank
Union Bank
Sterling Bank
Fidelity Bank
Stanbic IBTC Bank
VFD Microfinance Bank
Al-Hayat Microfinance Bank
Nomba (previously Kudi)
Some accounts have already been frozen

While there are no documents to confirm if the court has ruled in favour of Inspector Micheal’s motion, some people have confirmed that their accounts have been frozen in connection to the hack.

A Twitter user said, “I got a mail from my bank saying I’m a 4th beneficiary to this acclaimed fraud money. This was after over five days after a successful trade. My account is locked 🔒 can’t access fund inside. Pls is this right? It’s unfair I have zero business with flutter wave or the hack.”

Per the motion filed by Adebesin, 107 accounts, including fifth beneficiaries of those accounts, are to be placed on lien/Post-No-Debit (PND).

With the stolen funds distributed across several accounts, which, according to tweets, may or may not have anything to do with the hack, it is not clear at this time who hacked Flutterwave.

Questions about how hackers got past Flutterwave’s security and what this means for the unicorn’s customers remain unanswered. As of press time, Flutterwave hasn’t responded to our questions.

Credit: Techpoint

Last year, MTN’s payment unit, MOMO lost 22 billion to Nigerian “yahoo boys” after Momo’s account with 18 Nigerian banks was hacked.

The money was not recovered until today, even with the best efforts put forth by MTN to recover it.

Two weeks ago, Flutterwave lost 2.9 billion naira of their customers’ funds to the same Yahoo boys.

I’m not sure that the stolen money will be recovered, and this is why:

Just like they did with MoMo, The monies stolen were moved to crypto exchanges and then used to buy Bitcoin and the stable coin USTD.

Nigerian police officers are not yet adept enough to track money sent to the blockchain, so the money is gone forever.

But more than this, I’m worried that our Yahoo boys are evolving from romance scam to learning fast on how to hack the accounts of big financial institutions.

Hacking of big finance Global players have always been the forte of North Korean hackers because the state in North Korea protects them.

That our homegrown Yahoo Boys are learning from them how to breach a financial institution’s account is worrying for me in light of the fact that Nigeria is about to pivot into a cashless society.

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