Wednesday, January 18, 2012

NaijaHactivists on rampage, occupy Nigerian MDAs online


A body of Nigerian hacker activists under the aegis of NaijaCyberHactivists, has continued to occupy Nigeria institutions online.

Technologically, a hacker is referred to a term described as contentious term used in computing for several types of person, while computer security experts see those hackers as crackers, who access a computer system by circumventing its security system, even as some describe them as hobbyist who makes innovative customizations or combinations of retail electronic and computer equipment, yet there are those known as ‘programmer subculture,’ who share an anti-authoritarian approach to software development now associated with the free software movement.

Investigations carried out by ITRealms Online at the weekend showed that hackers have embarked on this mission of occupying Nigeria businesses, especially Federal Government institutions websites online in sympathy of the populace following the sudden removal of fuel subsidy by President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan (GEJ).

On Monday, the website of the Nigerian Army Education Corps (NAEC) was also hacked by Naija Cyber Hactivists, denouncing the deployment of soldiers across the country, especially Lagos by GEJ at the Gani Freedom Park among others, to molest protesters.

ITRealms Online recalls that on the New Year day, January 1, 2012, the Federal Government had announced the removal of fuel subsidy, thereby causing hike in pump price from hitherto N65 per litre to about N143 per litre.

Further investigations showed that as at the time of filing this report, both the websites of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) among others.

Although, ITRealms Online also gathered that by weekend, NAFDAC website, http://www.nafdac.gov.ng/ has been restored, while that of EFCC, http://www.efccnigeria.org/ remain inaccessible as any attempt showed that the requested Universal Route Locator (URL) had additional code ‘/jm15/’ indicating that it was not found on the server. While, additionally, a 404 Not Found error was encountered while trying to use an Error Document to handle the request is being displayed on the website ever since last Friday when the EFCC website went live with the news that the likes of telecom business mogul, Mike Adenuga, Femi Otedola and others were allegedly arrested.

Also, ITRealms Online gathered that sooner than it was hacked, officials of EFCC denied the arrest of these business moguls, alleging that its website was hacked.

Speaking on this development, the Publicity Secretary of the Nigerian Bar Association, Mr. Emeka JP Obegolu told ITRealms Online that as much as Nigerians are entitled to peaceful protest within the law, hacking of website is a cybercrime and legitimate protesters are not welcome.

He advised those hackers to avoid criminality as a way of protest.

Equally commenting, one of the protesting Nigerian youth who gave his name as Hareem, said that this – the hacking of government institutions website; is a very good way of communicating their message loud and clear to the government. Mostly “if they don’t still understand what is going on.”

Further investigations confirmed this with a Tweet from NaijaCyberHactivists, saying that the hacking of EFCC website was in solidarity with the Nigerian masses’ protest over fuel subsidy removal and alleged bad governance and inability of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan to assent to the demands of the people.

ITRealms Online further gathered that on Friday, January 13, 2012, NaijaCyberHactivists had stated through social media, Twitter, that it should be occupied for unwillingness to give the Nigerian people justice.

The call to occupy EFCC was for not bringing the suspected cabals among the oil importers and corruption politicians in the country to book, which came as popular a demand online.

“The AYES have it. EFCC’s website goes down officially at exactly 2pm tomorrow with an #OccupyEFCC chatbox on it.

In what started with a question from NaijaCyberHactivists on a motion: Should EFCC’s website be occupied for mis-information & lack of will to prosecute the Cabals? Aye or Nay? The majority of his followers affirmed to the temporary occupation of EFCC website, mostly for the inability of the Commission to tackle the purported cabals defrauding the country of millions of Naira.

ITRealms Online recalled that the hackers had occupied EFCC site with that notice.

In addition, the website of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) was last Friday hacked following the alleged announcement by the Commission for arresting and detained some 21 executive directors of oil-chip firms for defrauding the nation over fuel subsidy.

The former Head, Media & Publicity Unit, EFCC, Mr. Femi Babafemi was purportedly reported as saying in a press statement dated January 13, 2012 that those arrested were in response to fuel subsidy scam.

He also alleged to have said that operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission arrested and detained at the weekend included the managing director of CONOil, Otunba Mike Adenuga, who also is the executive chairman, Globacom and three others.

He said these comprised of his counterparts at African Petroleum (AP), Mr. Femi Otedola, MRS Oil, Mr. Sayyi Dantata and Mr. Adewale Tinubu who is the Group Chief Executive of Oando plc among others.

Equally, Babafemi was reported to have disclosed that some senior officials of the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) and Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), “who defrauded the nation several billions of Naira.”

The EFCC spokesman was further alleged to have said that in total, “21 executive directors have been detained in all and at the moment been interrogated over fresh information that they allegedly stole fuel subsidy funds,” even as he promised to release more information later.

Investigations conducted by ITRealms Online indicated that the EFCC website may have been hacked by unknown persons following agitation on the removal of fuel subsidy by the federal government, this was further strengthen by the fact that some media organizations who rushed to the press, especially online to announce the arrest have since yanked the announcement off their website.

Even as it was rumoured that the said Mr. Babafemi Babalola may have resigned from the employ of EFCC as at January 12, 2012. However, EFCC has since Friday denied the reported arrest of Adenuga and co.

Remmy Nweke
ITREALMS Online ... delivering news for ICT4D

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