Flutterwave blocks security breach on platform, says customers’ funds safe

Payment company, Flutterwave, said its customers’ funds remain safe amid concerns about a security breach on its system.

In a statement sent to NewsTimes on Thursday, the company said it successfully blocked an “attempted network intrusion and reported offenders to security agencies.”

Flutterwave confirmed that the incident happened in April when it detected unusual activities on one of its platforms, which is used by a small number of customers for specific business transactions. The company said it immediately informed law enforcement agencies and handed over the IP address and details of the offenders.

Customers funds untouched

The company said its security stopped the breach before customer funds were impacted. Flutterwave noted that it also informed its regulator, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), while reporting the case to the relevant law enforcement.

With this development, the company said it would undertake improvements on the said platform and move its users to another platform to ensure business continuity for its customers.

The company, however, advised its customers to take advantage of the security measures available while using its platform, as they also have a role to play in ensuring the best personal security practices.

Commenting on the incident, Flutterwave’s Head of Information and Security, Nujinim Egwegbete-Odukwu, stated,

“As leaders, we continue to invest heavily in our security infrastructure to ensure customers continue to remain safe as they transact using Flutterwave.

“As a proactive step to strengthen security, we are enhancing safety features on the affected platform and will be migrating some of our customers to another platform to ensure they can benefit from the security enhancements. We will continue our advocacy for ecosystem-led system initiatives that will help in fighting security threats in the digital ecosystem across Africa.”

Fraud incidents in fintechs, banks

Flutterwave is not the only company that has experienced these fraud incidents. There has been a rising wave of cybercrimes in Nigeria, creating trust issues between companies and their customers.

For instance, MTN, Africa’s largest mobile network operator, lost a total of N10.5 billion to cyber criminals in 2022. Also, Patricia Technologies Limited, a popular crypto platform, lost $2 million that belonged to its depositors in January 2022 to fraudsters, leading to the suspension of the platform.

Commercial banks have also been affected. Access Bank, one of the largest banks in Nigeria, filed a lawsuit in June 2023 to retrieve N30 billion and another in July 2023 to retrieve N5 billion that were lost to hackers.

Similarly, the Fraud and Forgeries report released by the Financial Institutions Training Centre (FITC) revealed that Nigerian banks lost a total of N2.09 billion to frauds in Q4 2023 with mobile emerging as the top channel through which the largest amount was lost.

Meanwhile, on March 5, 2023, Flutterwave also denied claims that its account was hacked and that N2.9 billion was illegally transferred from its account to several other accounts. However, court documents revealed that the company had sought police assistance to recover what was stolen.

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