Nigerian-born fintech Patricia confirms breach
Nigeria-founded digital marketplace Patricia has reported a breach, which compromised Bitcoin (BTC) and Naira assets.
Patricia says every other crypto balance remains unaffected, and it assures the public that all customers' and merchants' assets are secure.
Patricia is an Africa-centric integrated alternative payment and e-commerce company that facilitates the use of digital currencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum and other digital assets for transactions.
The company’s services are divided into three arms: Patricia Personal, Patricia OTC Desk, and Patricia Business.
In a statement, the company says: “Not long ago, we were victims of a breach. Patricia Personal, the retail trading application, was solely affected by this breach; BTC and Naira assets were compromised. Every other crypto balance remains unaffected, and we assure the public that all our customers' and merchants' assets are secure.”
The company says it is undergoing ‘internal restructuring’ and ‘temporarily suspending withdrawals’ on its app.
“We understand how this has affected our customers and are truly appreciative of your patience through this inconvenience. We assure you that we are working to strengthen our security measures.
“Our security team, with the help of law enforcement agencies, has been able to identify an individual among the syndicated group responsible for this breach. We will continue to pursue this lead and work with security agencies and other partners to ensure a thorough audit of the situation and recover the assets.”
The breach on Patricia comes on the back of a recent warning by the INTERPOL that cybercrime is becoming increasingly popular in Africa.
The African Cyberthreat Assessment Report 2023 says that crimeware-as a service (CaaS) provides criminals with an easy way to conduct financially motivated attacks against vulnerable systems and businesses, with minimal effort or technical knowledge.
CaaS refers to an organised business model that involves malware developers, hackers, and other threat actors selling or loaning out their hacking tools and services to people on the dark web.
With data drawn from INTERPOL’s member countries, private partners, and research conducted by the Africa Cybercrime Operations Desk, the 2023 report provides a comprehensive overview of cyber threat trends in the African region.
According to the report, some of the prominent cyber threats identified include, business email compromise, phishing, ransomware attacks, banking trojans and stealers, online scams, and cyber extortion.