Hackers Divert 10 Million Naira From JAMB Website

The intranet site of The Joint Admission and Matriculation Board in Nigeria has been hacked by over a dozen fraudsters who altered profiles of the board’s ad hoc staff, diverting over N10 million meant for their allowances.

JAMB Registrar, Prof Ishaq Oloyede, while parading the suspects, Sahabi Zubairu from Taraba State and several others on Wednesday said the board uncovered the fraud after a careful investigation.

He said JAMB’s government policy requires that monies meant for ad hoc staff are paid directly into the accounts of the beneficiaries, a situation that gave room for the hackers to gain access to the website.

Oloyede while explaining that government policy requires that monies meant for ad hoc staff are paid directly into the accounts of the beneficiaries said, the situation gave room for the current challenge confronting the board.

He, however, blamed the accounting department for failing to detect the fraud by cross-checking the names on the accounts to ensure that they tallied with those listed on the website or owners of the codes.

The JAMB boss who noted that ad hoc staff of the board have since been paid, however, assured that the stolen money will be recovered, as he vowed to hand perpetrators of the crime over to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, for further investigation and prosecution.

On how the fraudsters successfully gained access to the profiles of the ad hoc staff, he explained that the fraudsters used key logger, a software that allows access to the profile of anyone who has logged in using a public cybercafé even after the person has logged out and gone.

He clarified that the site was not for application to become JAMB ad hoc staff, but for JAMB ad hoc staff to supply their account details and names for payment of their allowances.

Oloyede said Zubairu deleted the names of the original ad hoc staff and their telephone numbers and substituted them with his, adding that those affected include code numbers 313 and 312, among others.

At least ten of the scammers who were paraded by JAMB before newsmen in Bwari, Abuja, admitted to the crime saying, they were lured into it by Zubairu.

The alleged fraud syndicate plowed into the site hosting the data of all JAMB ad hoc staff and changed their account details and phone numbers, diverting several million meant for the payment of their allowances.

While narrating how he carried out the crime, the alleged kingpin, Zubairu, said a friend of his, known as Samuel Tanko, who is now at large, introduced him to the website and supplied him with a code to apply as a JAMB ad hoc staff when they met at Saltee Cybercafé in Takum where he resides.

He however noted that what he did was not an application but a successful alteration of the account details and phone numbers of the original owners of the code listed on the site, who were posted across the country by JAMB.

It was gathered that some victims of the fraud include a staff of the National Universities Commission, NUC, Mr. Babangida Mohammed, and one Fatima Mohammed, among several others.

Zubairu confessed that he lured a least 12 people into the crime, some of whom are his family members, adding that he received over N400,000 diverted into his account.

One of the alleged culprits, Nasiru Mohammed, said he received the sum of N220,000 payment from JAMB while others said they got between 286,000 to N440,000.

Patsy Nwogu

A writer focused on data journalism, health and data analytics.

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