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ISIS and Boko Haram Funded by Hackers in South Africa, Claims Financial Investigator

ISIS and Boko Haram Funded by Hackers in South Africa, Claims Financial Investigator

by Clay Michael GillespieFebruary 10, 2015

Money is flowing from hackers in South Africa to terrorists, according to attorney Bernard Hotz. The attorney is the director for Werkmans Attorneys, as well as the head of business crime and forensics practice.

Hotz spoke in Sandton, highlighting the issue in his speech. He claims that money stolen from an unnamed South African company is going directly into the hands of terrorists in the continent, at least once.

Terrorist organizations such as ISIS, Hezbollah, Boko Haram and Al-Shabaab operate factions in Africa, thriving because of a “perceived state of lawlessness,” according to Hotz. The recent money laundering is part of larger organized criminal groups supporting terrorist outlets in the area.

In an interview with MoneyWeb, Hotz said outlined a number of ways this type of funding can occur in South Africa.

Terror funding can happen in a number of ways. You can have what we call charitable organizations, NGOs. But then you can also have revenue-generating operations. So you could have, for instance, money-laundering.

Money laundering can happen at various levels. You can have companies that are purposefully being set up with this veneer of legitimacy. Meanwhile the actual profits that are being generated, the income that is being generated from these companies is being channeled offshore to various other companies and used ultimately to fund terror.

Funding For Terrorists Like ISIS Happening Everywhere

ISIS Money TheftThe events Hotz outlined in South Africa aren’t confined – they’re happening all over the world. Terrorist factions like ISIS are wreaking havoc in multiple countries, even outside those in South Africa and the Middle East. ISIS and Boko Haram are causing serious problems in the world, and their money seems to be coming from everywhere. In Eastern Europe, hacker organizations are stealing personal information and gaining access to critical financial data from American companies.

“There is an Eastern European syndicate which was causing havoc in the US last year with JP Morgan and Target, and now you’ve got a similar Eastern European syndicate – if not the same one – that is using a software called Ransomware, a malware, and they are actually taking companies’ databases captive for ransom.”

“That’s happening right here in South Africa.”

According to Bernard, now is the time for companies to start being proactive on these crimes, rather than genuinely reactive. Companies need to acknowledge that there are serious security issues and vulnerabilities, putting themselves and their customers at risk.

“These syndicates are not just attacking specific industries,” Hotz said. “You get from the mining industry through to the security industries, through to the insurance industry. You name it, you are vulnerable. So it’s up to corporates to educate themselves and institute preventive measures as much as possible, rather than reactive measures.”

Images from Shutterstock.

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