The Nigeria Police Force has arrested the accused leader of the SilverTerrier cybercrime organization after a year-long international investigation. The coordinated multinational effort, dubbed Operation Delilah, involves tracing the 37-year-old Nigerian man’s physical movements before apprehending him at Lagos’ Murtala Muhammed International Airport in March 2022.
“The suspect is alleged to have run a transnational cybercrime syndicate that launched mass phishing campaigns and business email compromise schemes targeting companies and individual victims,” stated Interpol.
Group-IB, a cybersecurity firm based in Singapore, claimed it assisted threat intelligence that led to the arrest as part of the police operation, which began in May 2021. According to Palo Alto Networks’ Unit 42, which was also involved in the SilverTerrier investigation, the anonymous suspect is believed to have been engaged since 2015 in the development of more than 240 domains, 50 of which were used to provide command-and-control for malware like LokiBot.
According to Unit 42, the criminal actor eluded capture during a previous sting by fleeing Nigeria in June 2021, only to be apprehended when attempting to return home earlier this March. He also tried to sell his Autobiography Special Edition Range Rover on Facebook for 5.8 million Naira (about $14,000) before departing the country. The arrest is the third in a series of law enforcement efforts targeted at identifying and apprehending suspected SilverTerrier gang (aka TMT) members.
Three accused members of the gang were arrested in November 2020 on charges of compromising at least 500,000 government and commercial sector firms in over 150 countries since 2017. Following that, 11 additional members were apprehended early this year as part of the Falcon operation.