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Thursday, March 23, 2023

Flutterwave Denies N2.9bn Hack Claims, Says no User Lost Funds

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On Sunday, several media reports said that hackers robbed Flutterwave of over ₦2.9 billion ($6.3 million). According to Techpoint Africa, who first reported the incidence, ₦2,949,557,867 was illegally transferred from the account of the Nigerian fintech company.

Amidst these claims, Flutterwave’s co-founder and CEO, Olugbenga Agboola says “Flutterwave has not been hacked”. According to him, “this is a typical user profile compromise by a user who did not activate the relevant security on their profile. Our transaction monitoring system detected it as it should and notified the user.”

This implies that Flutterwave’s merchant account was hacked not the company’s.

“During a routine check of our transaction monitoring system, we identified an unusual trend of transactions on some users’ profiles. Our team immediately launched a review (inline with our standard operating procedure), which revealed that some users who had not activated some of our recommended security settings might have been susceptible,” Yewande Akomolafe-Kalu, Head of Branding and Storytelling at Flutterwave, said in a statement.

According to media reports, Flutterwave is seeking to freeze accounts where some of the money was transferred, and a motion to freeze accounts in 27 financial institutions in Nigeria, including Access Bank, Kuda, Zenith Bank, and OPay, has been filed, per Techpoint Africa.

However, Ms Akomolafe-Kalu said that “…no user lost any funds, and we take pride in the fact that our security measures were able to address the issue before any harm could be done to our users. We collaborate with other financial institutions and law enforcement agencies to keep our ecosystem safe and secure.”

Recall that in May 2022, an online gambling company, 86fb/86z alleged that “[Flutterwave] maliciously froze [its] funds and intends to take the funds as their own and extort [the company] by cooperating with the local police”.

Flutterwave denied the allegations, stating that “some merchants were passing transactions on behalf of 86FB/86Z…without approval or authorisation.”

According to the fintech, the merchants involved were suspended from using the platform and all funds due to these merchants were settled.

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