" ITREALMS: FG: NigeriaDecide2023 suffered 12,988,978m cyber attacks - ITREALMS

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

FG: NigeriaDecide2023 suffered 12,988,978m cyber attacks - ITREALMS

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The Federal Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami), has declared that the 2023 presidential election in Nigeria suffered a total of 12,988,978 million attacks, just in four days, reports 
ITREALMS.
Isa Ali Pantami - FG: NigeriaDecide2023 suffered 12,988,978m cyber attacks - ITREALMS
Out of this figure, he said, some 6,997,277m cyber threats were recorded on Saturday, February 25, 2023 precisely, which was the day of the presidential election in Nigeria.

This is coming as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had denied any attack let alone 162 times on its servers, as purported by some party faithful of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) on the last 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 centres successfully blocked these attacks and/or escalated them to the relevant institutions for appropriate action," Pantami said.

Pantami also said that in the run up to the 2023 elections, there was some 1,550,000 daily attacks on Nigeria's cyber space, especially threats on the public websites and portals.

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Threat intelligence, Pantami said, revealed an astronomical increase in cyber threats to Nigerian cyberspace in the run up.

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

Spokesperson to Pantami, Mrs. Uwa Sulaiman also informed ITREALMS in a press statement that this revelation came about due to the ministry's mandate to ensure adequate protection of Nigeria’s cyberspace to a level that citizens will have confidence in digital services.

This mandate, she said, aligned with the goals and objectives of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy for a Digital Nigeria (NDEPS).

"In line with this mandate and in our efforts at supporting the initiatives of securing the Nigerian cyberspace, the parastatals under the supervision of the Ministry have established Cybersecurity Centres, namely, the National Information Technology (NITDA)’s Computer Emergency Readiness and Response Team (CERRT), the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC)’s Computer Security Incident Response Team (CSIRT), and Galaxy Backbone (GBB)’s Security Operations Centre (SOC). These Centres were established between 2020 and 2022 in line with the Honourable Minister’s policy directives and have been monitoring Nigerian cyberspace for potential threats and taking appropriate actions to mitigate them, both individually and collectively as well as in collaboration with other stakeholders," she said.

Pantami, she further said, had 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.

ITREALMS recalled that on 24th February 2023, Pantami inaugurated the Ministerial Standing Committee on Advisory Role for the Protection of Nigerian Cyberspace and ICT Infrastructure. The Committee is chaired by the Board Chairman of NCC and with the CEOs of NCC, NITDA and GBB as members, was charged with the following responsibilities, among others:

According to Sulaiman, the Committee’s activity started on 24th February 2023 and ended on 28th February 2023, during which 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.

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

The parastatals, under the supervision of the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, have played a crucial role in providing the enabling environment for the successful conduct of a credible, free, fair, and transparent election. The Honourable Minister commends all stakeholders in the digital economy ecosystem for their support that resulted into this this unprecedented success.

More importantly, the Honourable Minister notes that these attainments are as a result of the commitment of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR towards ensuring Nigeria’s successful transition into the digital economy. The digital economy sector has enjoyed continued support of the President and it is highly appreciated. He also hopes that lessons learned during the process will be put to effective use in subsequent elections.

Remmy Nweke/DoP

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