Search ITRealms:

Featured post

Mr Maradona 'IBB' not dead says Afegbua - ITREALMS

ITREALMS : The former President, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (IBB) retired, is alive says his spokesman, Prince Kassim Afegbua, r...

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Anti-fraud; The Starcomms example

Features of the week:

Recent announcement that Starcomms shut 46 fraudsters, and unveiled anti-spam mechanism, is worthy of emulation among Internet Service Providers, reports REMMY NWEKE.

NOWADAYS, Internet access has become a major thirst and tool for the Internet savvy public. This tool in whatever way we may look at it has its positive and negative sides to the coin.

Two sides to the coin

On one side, Internet has liberated the much needed information chain by bringing people together in seconds as far as information dissemination and exchange are concerned, despite the distance whatsoever.

On the other hand, Internet has also become a thorn in the flesh, as many atrocities are now being perfected by fraudsters, who have since the massive acceptance of Internet in the 90s gone online, mostly in developing countries of the world.

Nigeria as case study

A case at hand is the Nigerian nation, whose heightened fraudsters’ related reports globally have forced the government to come up with some measures to checkmate this trend.

For instance, Section 419 (A) of the Nigerian Criminal Code drawn from the nation’s constitution of 1992, which stipulates among other things that ‘Any person who by any false pretence or by means of any other fraud obtains credit for himself or any other person; in incurring any debt or liability or by means of an entry in a debtor and creditor account between the person giving and the person receiving credit, is guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment for three years’.

Proliferation of online fraud

Before then, fraudsters specialize in the use of telefax machines to make contacts with their potential victims, most of which are targeted at foreigners, of which locally they were referred to as ‘Number people’.

Until late 90s when the Internet penetration continued to surge with the anticipated false millennium bug, these sets of ‘Number people’, always flaunting their ill-gotten wealth began to diversify into deploying Internet for their so called ‘business’. Nigeria no doubt got some ugly mentions with the Internet revolution.

Democratic Dividend

Hence, on coming to power in 1999, one big obstacle before the Olusegun Obasanjo’s regime was to clean the mess created by these online fraudsters, while it was spreading like a wild fire.

So came the setting up of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) and subsequently due to growing pressures from friendly international communities, the Presidency inaugurated a presidential committee on Anti-Online fraud with members spread across the law enforcement, Information and Communication Technology sector.

Subsequently, this committee proposed the birth of a National Working Group on Cyber Crime (NWGC), currently co-ordinated by a seasoned solicitor, Mr. Basil Udotia and co-chaired by the Ministers of Justice cum Attorney General of the Federation, Mr. Bayo Ojo, and that of Science and Technology, Prof. Turner Isoun.

Boosting FDI

One cardinal point in the assignment of NWGC is to come up with a draft law to combat the menace associated with Internet fraud, to boost electronic commerce and instill confidence on Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the country.

It was to also straighten the nation’s resolve to battle this monster, called online fraud.

Although investigations by our correspondent revealed that this crime seems to have taken increasingly new turn, as fraudsters perfect their act daily, by going to the extent of using the photograph, signature and Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) number of the apex bank’s governor, Prof. Charles Soludo in their fraudulent endeavour.

Evidence abounds that the recent Katrina Hurricane, suffered the same fate as its online help website was adversely duplicated over a good number of times for the purposes of enticing donors to these fake websites.

Proxy websites

Also, there exist, what experts described as proxy websites which offer people the opportunity to convert their electronic mails and even website addresses known as Internet domain addresses into proxy and their identity remain unknown to the larger society.

The above has been heavily associated with open source metaphor, which means that the propelling software is not being charged for, if used. Opposite of which is simply ‘Microsoft’, which must be paid for before usage.

From one Internet Service Providers to the cafes, these fraudulent agents abound and with the banning recently by the Association of Telephone and Café Operators of Nigeria (ATCON), some of these fraudsters hitherto use café as their abode, mostly for night browsing. Now they are opening personal offices at their homes to thrive the trade and the offer of Internet Service as an added value service to the subscribers of Private Telephone Operators (PTOs) in the country.

The Starcomms' example

Hence, the recent shutting of its Internet access to 46 suspected fraudsters and unveiling of anti-spam mechanism in Lagos by Starcomms Limited, is a welcomed development.

Online spam is a terminology used to describe unsolicited electronic mails and that has been the methodology of ‘419ners’ in the system, mostly when they are shopping for potential victims.

But the coming of Starcomms’ mechanism to determine spam traffic would reduce fraudulent activities on its Internet service among subscribers.

With this, Starcomms assumed the first Private Telecommunication Operator (PTO) in the country to ever introduce such an online anti-fraud mechanism among the existing Internet Service Providers (ISPs).

Marketing Director at Starcomms, Mr. Omar Lababidi, while introducing the mechanism, said, it would enhance the efforts aimed at reducing fraud on its internet service from this part of the world.

The mechanism, he said, was installed in co-operation with Huawei Technologies to monitor and tackle fraudulent use of the Internet.

This effort, which include creation of database of fraudulent accounts which will be reported to the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) and other relevant law enforcement agencies, would equally afford the operator the chance to device means of warning the entire subscriber chain that spammers and fraudsters will not be tolerated on the network.

Mr. Lababidi also alerted that anybody found engaging in Internet fraud would automatically forego all rights and privileges as a customer on the Starcomms.

He further said that his company has, so far, shut down 46 spam and fraud users on the Starcomms account, adding that the gesture is aimed at protecting the innocent and improving the nation’s image in the international community.

NIG reacts

Reacting to this, newly elected President of the Nigeria Internet Group (NIG), Mr. Lanre Ajayi, told ITREALMS it is a welcome development.

“I think it is good as ISP to make it public. It is a smart way of sustaining its business and shunning intending spammers, because if eventually it’s network becomes notorious or key suspect of most spam origin, it could be blocked by other networks” he said.

Other ISPs, Mr. Ajayi said, may have the same strategy but are not making it open, but the idea to proclaim it is very good to fore warn whoever intends involving himself on such activities on the network. He was sure other ISPs also have similar strategy to block spammers.

Bold step

This step by Starcomms also has been described as pioneer among its peers in the bid to safe guide its network and subscribers alike.

One good thing is that the operator was very clear when it said that anybody caught instantly losses the right of a customer on the network.

Another good thing is that if the company’s figure of the affected fraudsters would be forwarded to relevant government agencies, which is a plus.

So, it is very important for other ISPs in the country to follow the Starcomms example, mostly as the unified licensing regime has less than one month to take off, by investing into this kind of solution.

Therefore, by heeding this call, the nation’s image would not only get better, it would show some seriousness on the need to collectively battle this sickness, which is invertible in this century.

12 comments:

Plasma TV Center said...

Hi thanks for your blog, I liked it! I also have a blog/site about esa plasma television
that covers esa plasma television
related stuff. Please feel free to visit.

Plasma TV Center said...

Hi Thanks for your interesting blog. I also have a blog/site, covering gateway plasma television
related stuff. Feel free to visit my gateway plasma television
site.

Plasma TV Center said...

Hi Thanks for your interesting blog. I also have a blog/site, covering plasma television entertainment center
related stuff. Feel free to visit my plasma television entertainment center
site.

delightfully-wonderful said...

Nice blog. I seen the site and I adored the work,
that I want to visit it more each day! I like
searching for blogs that have the same content like
this one!
Hey son, you need to check out my no faxing cash advance blog!

Joe Berenguer said...

I just came across your blog and wanted to
drop you, Blogger, a note telling you how impressed I was with
the information you have posted here.
If you have a moment, please visit my site:
upcoming dvd releases
It covers upcoming dvd releases related contents.
I send you warm regards and wish you continued success.

hplauze said...

Well I just got back from the gym and I am beat. I am currently doing some research on notebook personal computer and stumbled across your blog. Which cracks me up really. The internet can certainly land you off base sometimes. Even though your blog is not completely related I think it is a cool blog. I have read back through the archives and lots of people make some very good points. Well I have been on-line forever it seems. I need to continue to plug away at notebook personal computer. If you have the energy swing by http://www.note-book-computer.com. I try to update my site weekly and maybe you will see something you like. I already snagged your URL and put it in my favorites. If you do not mind I will be back again. Great job!

lancer said...

I really must say this is one of the most beneficial blogs I have ever come across. I am not just saying that to kiss up to you! I am doing a research paper for my master degrees and spent the last 10 hours (and 12 cups of coffee) researching this area topic. So many blogs have generic information but yours is different. I can actually apply some of this information to my works. No worries I will give you credit in my references. I took it upon myself to put you in my favorites and will visit back to let you know how my grade ends up. Many thanks!new york debt consolidation service.

Martin said...

Hi. I came across your post and found it very interesting. I was wondering whether you can help me in finding more information on "online ebook responders". I came across online ebook responders. What do you think?

Scott A. Edwards said...

Congradulations on a well written, interesting and superb blog! Have you heard about the shocking news?

1000's of real people are earning quiet fortunes from home using the most ingenious automated system ever invented.

Are you curious to find out what this is all about?

Why not? You have nothing to lose.

You can sign up for this system absolutely free of charge and check it all out for yourself.

To start off, we have a video presentation for you to watch. Just turn up the speakers if you can, and click on the link below.

Have fun and open your mind.

It is all right here: net opportunities It successfully covers net opportunities related stuff.

Come and check it out now, Scott :-)

Scott A. Edwards said...

Join NOW for FREE...

The Quick and FREE Way to Get a SWARM of Visitors to Your Site!

To find out more visit: unique home based business opportunity site. It successfully exposes FREE information covering Traffic and unique home based business opportunity related stuff.

J. Daniel said...

Thats kinda funny because we just got an email scam in our inbox. I ran a trace on it and it showed the originating server to come from Nigeria with the server owner being Starcomm Limited.

Thomas pedro said...

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) is a fundamental piece of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The Federal Housing Administrations manages different single-family projects of home loan protection, for example, the FHA credit protection program. The home loan protection programs work through FHA's approved loaning foundations that submit application/s to have the submitted property assessed. Check Cashing