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Presidential election: 12.9 million attempts was made to hack Nigerian cyberspace — Pantami

Collins Nnabuife

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Professor Isa Pantami has said that on the presidential election day on February 25th this year, there were a total of 12,988,978 attacks from within and outside of Nigeria’s cyberspace.

In a statement by the Spokesperson of the Minister, Uwa Suleiman, a total of 1,550,000 attacks was recorded daily, while on the presidential election day, the figure increased to 6,997,277 attacks.

“As part of its mandate, the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy is expected to ensure adequate protection of Nigeria’s cyberspace to a level that citizens will have confidence in digital services.

“This mandate aligns with the goals and objectives of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy for a Digital Nigeria (NDEPS).

“It is worth noting that in the run-up to the 2023 General Elections, threat intelligence revealed an astronomical increase in cyber threats to Nigerian cyberspace.

“Generally, threats to public websites and portals averaged around 1,550,000 daily. However, this skyrocketed to 6,997,277 on Presidential Election Day.

“A total of 12,988,978 attacks were recorded, originating from both within and outside Nigeria. It is worth noting that the Centers successfully blocked these attacks and/or escalated them to the relevant institutions for appropriate action”, the statement stated.

The statement further stated that the Minister directed all the parastatals to enhance their 24/7 monitoring of the networks and traffic for potential attacks from 24th February 2023 to 27th February 2023.

“Furthermore, on 24th February 2023, the Honourable Minister inaugurated the Ministerial Standing Committee on Advisory Role for the Protection of Nigerian Cyberspace and ICT Infrastructure.

“The Committee, chaired by the Board Chairman of Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and with the CEOs of NCC, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) and Galaxy Backbone (GBB) as members, were charged with
Monitoring of Telecommunication Infrastructure for the successful conduct of credible, free, fair, and transparent elections.

The Committee was also charged with developing and implementing plans to enhance the resilience of critical digital infrastructure against cyber threats, designing procedures and using technologies to prevent, detect, and respond to cyber attacks, as well as developing the ability to recover from any damage that is done quickly.

The Statement also said the committee was expected to Develop a comprehensive risk assessment, analyse the nation’s current cybersecurity capabilities, and identify gaps that need to be addressed; and
Providing professional advice to the Government on the effective utilization of digital technologies in the conduct of the 2023 General Elections.

“The Committee’s activity started on 24th February 2023 and ended on 28th February 2023. During this period, a series of hacking attempts were recorded, including Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS), email and IPS attacks, SSH Login Attempts, Brute force Injection attempts, Path Traversal, Detection Evasion, and Forceful Browsing”, the statement added.





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