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Nigerian Sentenced to Prison for Defrauding the NASA Employee

Akeem Adejumo, 22, from Nigeria has pleaded guilty to defrauding a US citizen employed at the NASA (National Aeronautical and Space Administration). On April 16, 2008, the Lagos State High Court in Nigeria sentenced Adejumo to 18 months in jail, according to announcement by Jeffrey A. Taylor, Attorney of U.S and Robert W. Cobb, Inspector General at NASA.

According to a press release from the US Justice Department, the Washington-based employee got the fraudulent e-mail from someone, she had encountered on a dating site. Consequently, her address, computer passwords, Social security number, bank account numbers, and driving license details were all divulged.

When NASA's OIG (Office of Inspector General) started investigating into the security breach in December 2006, he traced the source of the attack to Nigeria. An investigating team comprising US Attorneys in Washington, Nigeria's Economic and Financial Crime Commission and the computer crimes division of the OIG mustered up a clandestine operation that led to capturing of Adejumo.

Examinations of the network user logs as well as the computer of the victim showed that a number of e-mail addresses were used in the attack to write messages to the victim. More investigation showed that two other victims were present while some additional e-mail ids were used.

Adejumo admitted guilt to charges of obtaining items by Forgery and False pretenses.

Cobb, Inspector General, said that cyber criminals operated without any limit and even though they were technically superior they were still regarded as common criminals targeting innocent victims, reported by the press release of US Department of Justice.

According to Taylor, the US Attorney, the joint effort by the agencies of law enforcement in Nigeria and the US in successfully prosecuting the culprit in the case demonstrated how collaboration between countries is essential to counter harmful predators in cyber crime, as reported by the press release.

However, an important point to note is that the breach might have never occurred if one very innocent and possibly duty failing NASA employee not cooperated. While there is no report, if she has been sacked or disciplined, and if NASA is doing anything to prevent such attacks in future, a NASA Spokesman informed he was finding out about that.

Related article: Nigerian Scammers Secure Huge Money from Australian Victims

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