Nigerian Arrested in US For Hacking into User Accounts at a Payroll Processing Company


A Nigerian national was recently detained in the United States on allegations of stealing payroll deposits by hacking into user accounts at a payroll processing company.

Charles Onus, 34, was arrested on April 14 in San Francisco for his role in a conspiracy that resulted in the breach of about 5,500 user accounts at an undisclosed human resources and payroll services company in the United States.

Onus is accused of using a credential stuffing attack to gain unauthorised access to user accounts at the targeted organisation in 2017 and 2018.

According to the indictment, the guy was able to shift approximately $800,000 in payroll cash to prepaid debit cards, some of which he controlled.

Onus was charged with two charges of computer fraud, one crime of receiving stolen property, and one count of wire fraud, all of which have potential terms of five to twenty years in prison, as well as one crime of aggravated identity theft, which carries a two-year mandatory term (served consecutively to any other sentence imposed).

“Charles Onus allegedly took part in a conspiracy in which he hacked into a payroll processing company’s system to get access to user accounts and transfer payroll to prepaid debit cards he controlled, stealing approximately $1 million. “As alleged, Onus performed this with the same efficiency as a bank robber, but without the use of a blowtorch or bolt cutters,” Manhattan US Attorney Audrey Strauss said.

Jennifer Thomas
Jennifer Thomas is the Co-founder and Chief Business Development Officer at Cybers Guards. Prior to that, She was responsible for leading its Cyber Security Practice and Cyber Security Operations Center, which provided managed security services.