Nigerian Hacker Sentenced to Prison in U.S. for Targeting Government Employees

A Nigerian hacker was sentenced to 36 months in prison in the United States for participating in a scheme that targeted government employees.

The man, Olumide Ogunremi, also known as “Tony Williams,” 43, has admitted in federal court to participating in the computer hacking and identity theft scheme.

According to court documents and statements, Ogunremi and co-conspirators perpetrated their scheme from at least July 2013 through December 2013, targeting “U.S. government agencies’ email systems and General Services Administration vendors,” the U.S. Department of Justice reveals.

The cybercriminals used fake emails and websites designed to mimic the legitimate emails and sites of U.S. government agencies, such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and sent phishing messages to unwitting employees, who visited the fake pages and entered their login credentials.

The stolen credentials were then abused to access the employees’ e-mail accounts to fraudulently order office products, mostly printer toner cartridges, in the victims’ names. The products were ordered from vendors authorized to conduct business with U.S. government agencies.

The vendors were instructed to ship the products to individuals in New Jersey and other locations, where they were repackaged and then shipped to overseas locations controlled by Ogunremi and his co-conspirators, who then sold the cartridges on the black market.

According to the DoJ, the cybercriminals defrauded vendors of approximately $1 million of office products.

Ogunremi fled to Canada after being scheduled to enter a guilty plea in March 2018, and was extradited to the United States in September 2019. In addition to the prison term, he was sentenced to two years of supervised release and was ordered to pay $68,618 in restitution.

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Ionut Arghire is an international correspondent for SecurityWeek.

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