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Fake News worries FG, prepares IOs

ITRealms : The Federal Government is seemingly worried over the menace of fake news, and is preparing the Information Officers (IOs) on...

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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Scammers clone SGF’s email


The fear of what could be the attitude of people, especially in Nigeria remains unpredictable as highly placed government officials have continuously become victims of electronic scams.

Scammers are those who obtain money by means of deception including fake personalities, fake photos, fake template letters, non-existent addresses and phone numbers, forged among other negative practices.

One of the high-rising crimes for scammers is to clone either technology devices of these government officials or their electronic mails (e-mails).

One of the latest scam is a Short Messaging Service (SMS) making a round that some eminent Nigerians have been nominated into some board membership, urging them to send emails to send their curriculum vitae (CV) to a given email with inference to the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF).

The scammers in their SMS’ also promised to revert to the purported board appointee.

Some of the SMS’ read: Mr. Kingsley Olemoney, Ur name is listed 4 board appointment send ur CV to the SGF through (osgf@presidency.ng-gov.org). U will be contacted on receipt of ur CV.

Unfortunately the sender of the SMS was purported to be the ‘PRESIDENCY’.

Further investigations by ITRealms Online, showed that first, there is no operational domain existing as ‘presidency.ng-gov.org’ which experts alluded to mean that the fraudster, may have just created an email from that domain for the scam purposes.

ITRealms Online exclusive investigation revealed that ‘presidency.ng-gov.org’ from where the ‘osgf’ email must have been created just for fraudulent reasons.

Also, it revealed that “Kehinde Alao” owns ‘NG-GOV.ORG’ alongside five (5) other domains and is associated with about 32 domains, while his contact email is ‘ronson.kiefer@yahoo.com’ with name server history showing that ‘Kehinde Alao’ has affected 14 changes on 9 unique name servers over 3 years, whereas his Internet Protocol (IP) history indicated 13 changes on 10 unique IP addresses over six years.

The Whois history has it that the alleged ‘Kehinde Alao’ has 56 records that have been archived since November 24, 2007, even as the reverse IP has 1,704 other sites hosted.

.ORG WHOIS, ITRealms Online gathered provides information to assist persons in determining the contents of a domain name registration record in the Public Interest Registry database.

Although, Whois, noted that the data in this record is provided by Public Interest Registry for informational purposes only, and does not guarantee its accuracy, hence, this service is intended only for query-based access.

The domain name, NG-GOV.ORG was purportedly registered with domain identity D162224846-LROR created on May 9, 2011 at 14:39:09 UTC and was last updated on October 05, 2011 at 13:04:20 UTC.

The expiration date of the domain name NG-Gov.Org will be May 9, 2012 14:39:09 UTC with registrant ID:O6AW8C0ZFH, name filled is ‘Kehinde Alao’ whose street record was listed as 12 James Road, Ikeja, Lagos, Post Code 23401, phone, +234-7090161907.

Dr. Audri Lanford of Scambusters.org said that many scammers are very cunning, so being smart is not enough to protect one self, noting that daily smart subscribers express are scammed.

He added that since identity theft has been number one on his firm’s Top 10 List of the Worst Internet Scams for the past several years. He said, this list was created to help prevent identity theft, and to assist people who are identity theft victims learn the best practices for recovering from identity theft.

According to him, identity theft facts showed that it is the fastest growing crime, based on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

Experts, he said, estimate that about 10 million people are victims each year, which means every minute, about 19 people become new victims of identity fraud.

He pointed out that drug trafficking is now being replaced by identity theft as the number one crime.

“If you become a victim, it will probably take you hundreds of hours and an average of $1,000, (about N150,000), to recover from identity theft. Even worse, some innocent victims have even ended up in prison because identity thieves have committed crimes in their names,” he said.

Hence, he said, that is why identity theft prevention is so important and his firm want to help people in protecting them from this nightmare.

However, if you have had the misfortune of becoming an identity theft victim, Dr. Lanford said, they have some excellent resources to help people recover from this.

ITRealms Online recalls that recently, the National Security Adviser, Gen Andrew Azazi (rtd) was reportedly a victim of unknown persons who have cloned his phone, and using same to send what was depicted as ‘rude SMS.’

Azazi, the former Chief of Defense Staff made this disclosure at a recent forum on proposed cyber security law at the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, stunned the audience with his revelation.

Remmy Nweke

ITREALMS Online ... delivering news for ICT4D

Nigeria: Sony Ericsson eyes 30% mobile phone share

Head, Sales for Market Unit Africa, Sony Ericsson, Mr. Jonas Gronqwist, said that they are eyeing 30 per cent of the Nigeria’s mobile phone market a short term.

Speaking in Lagos recently, Mr. Gronqwist, who as accompanied by the Head, Africa Market Unit at Sony Ericsson, Mr. Jorgen Berg, said that they believe that with the launch of its Xperia series would boost its market share to between 25 and 30 per cent.

“We can attract and approach what we believe in is the best approach for the purpose,” he said.

He disclosed that the African office of Sony Ericsson based in South Africa, was set up to ensure that this dream is realized, while liaising with the team in Munich, Germany, which reviews how and what could be done to expand to the Sub-Saharan market, by involving local persons.

“But, first and foremost we have to understand what is our say in those countries and how can we learn from Africa and how can we make sure that we adjust to the need of Africa,” he said.

Hence, he noted that working in Africa is not like what is obtainable in Western Europe or Asia.

“No, it’s not going to work, so, for that we need to look into what does Africa need and how can we do that, is our fascination?” he said.

On the range of products Sony Ericsson is bringing to the Nigerian market with the launch, Mr. 
Gronqwist, pointed out that though they company has a few drop in 2008 and 2009, when the company lost a lot of money.

He assured that there are now several measures taken during that period and it was also a very important decision for the company, because Sony Ericsson took data meditation.

He explained that Sony Ericsson had to go for a consortium and put in all the best even though at that time the step was unpredictable, adding that today, mobile manufacturer is very happy about the decision.

Today, he said, Sony Ericsson believes that it still has a good portfolio and has extremely dedicated free market everywhere and in most of the company, they have them working.

“We are here not to say that we did not make the stock and we’re going to change the road. No! We do believe we have a value role to play in Nigeria’s market. Definitely, we want to find the right partners to create that value and we want to take more steps,” he said.

In Nigeria, he said, Sony Ericsson has noticed lots of challenges on counterfeiting, but is coming up with some strategies to tame the effect.

First of the steps, he said, would to make sure that they have a warranty field on Sony Ericsson mobile products sold and by educating the consumers that as long as they buy the Sony Ericsson pack, that there is service warranty besides that.

He emphasized that Sony Ericsson is dedicated organisation within Sony on counterfeit, hence, devoted to fighting counterfeit in the market place.

“Definitely, there are some measures we have to take and I also believe that to be really effective, we need to work with the government to make sure that we get the co-operation for the Nigerian market,” he said.

Mr. Gronqwist emphasized that in launching these products from Xperia series, one thing that comes to mind is the beauty of those products and another thing is the availability, adding that when looking at getting the products into the Nigerian market, urging that the per capital income, “it’s not too high, not even optimal so to say.”

Sony Ericsson mobile phone quality, he said, is the number one on Android and working with key partners to become the point of choice, stressing that that was why the mobile company welcome Android on the commercial products and at this point there are no not-android products in that global range.

He urged for partners to assist the mobile manufacturer to meet its market share of between 25 and 30 per cents in the African continent.

“That’s why the key and the essential part is to bring the value back to the consumer. There are lots of others that are looking at the low range and we don’t foresee we can compete on that range for now,” he disclosed.

Sony Ericsson, he said, believes that the total market turned around is within 5 million handsets per year in Nigeria.

“… We believe that Sony Ericsson can reach somewhere around 2 to 3 per cent,” he said by the close of business in 2011.

He assured that within three years period the mobile company sees that the products and price of its brand will go more towards the smart phone and there will be more low and smart phones in the market.

“We can approach a bigger segment and within three years, we should definitely have 10 per cent market share in volume and likewise 23 per cent on value,” he said.

Remmy Nweke

ITREALMS Online ... delivering news for ICT4D

Interswitch says 2m Nigerians on Verve

To boost the cashless policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), leading switching company in the country, Interswitch has revealed that it has recorded over 2 million cardholders on its platform.

This, the company said, was ignited with the current promo on Verve for its customers.

Divisional Head, Verve Business at Interswitch, Mrs. Oluwatobi Boshoro, affirmed this development, saying that the over 2 million Verve cardholders were those who qualified to participate in the ongoing second edition of Verve national consumer promo.

She explained that these cardholders were those who have either used their cards for cash withdrawal at the Automated Teller Machines (ATM), made purchase at the Point of Sale (PoS) terminals, on the web or mobile device during the first week of the promo, which is in support of the CBN cashless policy.

Boshoro also said that there is high expectation more Nigerians would participate in the Verve promo as evident by the number of entries sent by the banks.

She hinted that the second edition of the promo focuses on rewarding cardholders who are yet to request and pick up their cards from the banks and existing Verve cardholders.

“That is why we are having more and more new bank customers requesting for Verve cards at the bank branches,” she declared, stressing that the promo, now in the third week, would help to fast track the CBN’s policy on cashless economy.

She outlined the breakdown of entrants from the 19 participating banks to comprise First Bank with 779,049 cardholders who used their cards within the period and qualified for the draws; Keystone Bank 62,666, Finbank 42,957, ETB 3,603, Skye Bank 108,317, and Oceanic Bank 29,785. Others are Wema Bank 21,368, Intercontinental Bank 294,019, Sterling Bank 12,988, Ecobank 44,460, Fidelity Bank 7,773 and Mainstreet Bank 12,173.

Mrs. Boshoro further said that to qualify for the promo, new cardholders would request for their cards at the bank, activate it and collect instant gifts at the bank branch, while existing Verve cardholder would have to use the card for transactions at any of the touch points.

Maintaining that as the only card brand in the Nigerian market with unmatched reach and value added services, Verve offers payment convenience to cardholders across all payment channels such as ATMs, PoS terminals, internet, mobile phones and kiosks.

Insisting that the security and Europay, MasterCard and VISA (EMV); a global standard for inter-operation of integrated circuit cards were some of the features embedded in the Verve card, to guarantee a higher level of security for payment transactions.

She listed some of instant gift item available to new cardholders to include branded pens, card wallets, t-shirts, MP3 players, flash drives and notebook jotters.

Additionally, she said, new card activation and usage during the promo period qualifies cardholders for the bi-weekly draw and a chance to win several fantastic items such as iPads, Deep Freezers, Power Generators, 32’ LCD television sets and BlackBerry smart phones.

Remmy Nweke
ITREALMS Online ... delivering news for ICT4D

Olufuye hands over ITAN to Seriki


The immediate past president, Information Technology (Industry) Association of Nigeria (ITAN), Dr. Jimson Olufuye, has handed over the leadership of the industry hardware sub-group to Mrs. Florence Seriki, the group managing director, Omatek Computers plc.

Olufuye, who is the chief executive officer, Kontemporary Konsulting Limited has concluded his two-term tenure as the president of ITAN, while Mrs. Seriki, the group managing director, Omatek Computer plc, who has been serving as the first vice president in the last dispensation.

The change of guide came at the end of the 2011 Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Information Technology (Industry) Association of Nigeria (ITAN) in Abuja.

Mrs. Seriki’s election heralds the tenure of the 6th President of ITAN, which is in line with the new Constitution approved by consensus at the AGM, last week Thursday, November 24, 2011.

Dr. Olufuye who took over as President in the 2007, served for two terms and led ITAN to international spotlight through various steps which include making ITAN a member and the regional secretariat of the World Information Technology and Services Alliance (WITSA) as well as hosting the IT CEOs Summits in collaboration with NASSCOM, India.

Other newly elected officers of ITAN include Mr. Amos Emmanuel, CEO, Programos Software, as the first Vice President and Mr. Yunusa Yau, the Executive Director, CITAD as the second Vice President.

Also elected at the of the 2011 AGM are Mr. Matthias Ifesieh, the CEO, Sagita Systems Ltd as Treasurer, while council members include Mr. Dele Ajisomo of Mandriva Africa, Mr. Emma Onuegbu of Zinox Technologies; Mr. Tola Sogbesan of Chace Systems Ltd; Mr. Adeniyi Ekine of Obita Crescent Audio Visual Industry; Mr. David Onu of Interra Networks Ltd; Mr. John Nwosu  of Jetlink Nigeria Ltd; Mr. Sagir Mohammed of Intersystems Ltd; Mr. Oamen Okhilua of Yobel Integrated Ltd.

While the statutory members of the Council comprised of Dr. Jimson Olufuye, the immediate past president, Mr. Tayo Adeniyi of Worldwide Computers Ltd and Initiator of ITAN, and other past presidents in line with the newly approved constitution.

ITRealms Online recalls that ITAN was established in 1991 as Microcomputer Vendors Association of Nigeria (MiVAN) following visionary initiative of Mr. Tayo Adeniyi, MD Worldwide Computers Ltd and in 1995, ITAN metamorphosed into Computer Vendors Association of Nigeria (CoVAN) before transforming into its current status in 2000.

In 2002, following industry pressures and advocacy by the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, ITAN joined other stakeholders to form what is now the society of IT professionals in Nigeria, the Nigeria Computer Society (NCS).

ITAN’s first President was Mr. Yinka Edu of A-Z Computers Ltd. In 1995, Mr. Davis Mirilla of Falcon Computers Ltd succeeded him. In 1999, Mr. Chris Uwaje of Connect Technologies Ltd followed.

In 2003, the chief executive officer, Beta Computers, Mr. Will Anyaegbunam was elected the President, while on March 29, 2007, Dr Jimson Olufuye emerged ITAN president.

Remmy Nweke
ITREALMS Online ... delivering news for ICT4D

Aladekomo urges FBN to reclaim role in NCS, plans 1m jobs

President, Nigeria Computer Society, Mr. Demola Aladekomo has urged the management of FirstBank Nigeria (FBN) plc to reclaim its roles in the affairs of Information Technology (IT) development of the country by retaining its active role in the organisation.

This is coming as NCS said its targeting at creating, at least 1 million Information Technology (IT)-related jobs in line with the Federal Government agenda.

He made this call during a courtesy visit of his leadership team to the group managing director, FBN, Mr. Olabisi Onasanya in Lagos.

Aladekomo in accompany of Mr. Kayode Sobajo, Managing Director, HiiT Plc, Mr. Jide Awe, chairman publicity, NCS, and Mr. Abiodun Adesanya, Managing Director, Contact Solutions Ltd said NCS would like to partner FBN on a number of projects capable of making better the employment opportunities for Nigerians.

“We would be very much interested in partnering with you towards putting this country firmly in the global IT map to our mutual benefit,” he declared.

According to him, there are a few critical issues that NCS would like to lay emphasis on immediately including employment and intervention funding.

This, he said, if fully utilised the IT industry could put more people to work than a combination of three or four different sectors of the economy combined.

“What we require is leadership and partnership with NCS in this critical area that may spell doom for our country if not urgently tackled,” he urged.

NCS, he said, intends to work with the Federal Government towards creating, conservatively, 1 million IT-related jobs within the next five years.

Key areas of focus towards achieving this goal, he said, are business process automation, call centre operation, health care delivery, emergency and disaster response systems, software development, incubation and knowledge park development to mention a few.

NCS, Aladekomo said, recognises and commends the recent E-Payment Cashless programme of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

This project, he said, has the capability of generating about 50,000 IT-related jobs within the next six months.

“We expect this programme to generate another 250,000 IT related jobs by the end of 2012,” he said, adding that it is not nuclear science, when NCS expressed its readiness to create 1m IT-related jobs.

He maintained that 1m IT-related jobs could be realised within five years if a third of it is already being created just by the right policies within months.

He noted that there was a time that First Bank was a major partner and corporate member of NCS and they believe the time has come again for the bank to reclaim this leadership role.

“With our recent achievements of getting our CPN Act passed, having NITDA established and Ministry of Communications Technology established, we say now is the time to fully reactivate your corporate membership,” he said.

Remmy Nweke
ITREALMS Online ... delivering news for ICT4D

Vodacom takes charge @ Gateway Business

The South African telecommunications giant, Vodacom has taken charge at the Gateway Communications with rebranding of the hitherto carrier to Vodacom Business.

Managing Director, Vodacom Business Nigeria, Mr. Guy Clarke made this disclosure in Lagos on Monday while briefing newsmen on the development.

Mr. Clarke accompanied by the Executive heads, Network Operations and Sales Marketing, Messrs Vernon Van Rooyen and Zakari Usman respectively as well as their counterpart in Legal and Regulatory, Mrs. Nkechi Newton-Denila, said that this rebranding of Gateway Communications to Vodacom Business is the last lap of integration after Vodacom Group acquired the company.

This, he said, would enable the company to align itself to the group’s brand promise of ‘Power to You’ slogan, thereby ensuring greater emphasis on customer experience and a committed focus towards improving enterprise Information and Communication Technology (ICT) service delivery across the continent.

He also said that Vodacom Business offers customers wide range of enterprise ICT solutions comprising pure access solutions to fully outsourced managed network services and managed hosted services.

Mr. Clarke who equally was joined at the event by Senior Project Manager Mr. Olumide Idowu and Marketing Manager, Ms Anne Ihugba, added that these offerings come with more enterprise move towards cloud-based services, paving the way for Vodacom Business to launch innovative and competitive products capable of transforming Africa.

Speaking, Executive head, Network Operations, Messrs Vernon Van Rooyen, said Vodacom has invested heavily in facilities to enable it standout among equals, stressing that the company is well positioned to make inroads beyond what it has now.

Throwing more light on the brand, Executive Head, Legal and Regulatory Services, Mrs. Nkechi Newton-Denila, noted that GS Telecom Nigeria Limited has now been acquired by Vodacom, hence the rebranding, even as they have not witnessed any challenge in the process in teams regulatory hiccups.

She, therefore, commended the telecommunications regulator in the country, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) for all the support in ensuring that more operators enter the nation’s ICT market with affordable services.

GS Telecom is a telecommunications and Internet service provider operating primarily in Africa with several corporate clients in Africa, including the telecommunications, banking, agriculture, manufacturing and mining industries.

GS Telecom was acquired in June 2007 by Gateway Communications, a subsidiary of Vodacom, for $37.5m, combining to become what is tagged as the largest provider of pan African communications solutions.

The company is reportedly active in over 37 countries on the continent, including Nigeria, Ghana, Benin, Tanzania, Mozambique, South Africa, and Angola.

Remmy Nweke
ITREALMS Online ... delivering news for ICT4D