Nigeria’s cyberspace was hit by 6,997,277 cyber threats in a major surge seen on the Presidential Election Day held across the country, Professor Isa Pantami, Minister of Communications and Digital Economy has revealed.
This was disclosed in a press statement issued by the Minister’s spokesperson, Uwa Sulaiman, and made available to Technology Times.
According to the statement, the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy had been working to ensure a safe and secure cyberspace for Nigerians before, during, and after the 2023 Presidential Elections.
Election Day recorded cyber threats surge, Minister says
“It is worth noting,” Pantami says in the statement, “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.”
According to him, the Ministry established Cybersecurity Centers, including 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) to monitor Nigerian cyberspace for potential threats and take appropriate actions to mitigate them.
Under the plan, Minister directed all parastatals to enhance their 24/7 monitoring of networks and traffic for potential attacks from February 24th, 2023, to February 27th, 2023. The Ministerial Standing Committee on Advisory Role for the Protection of Nigerian Cyberspace and ICT Infrastructure was inaugurated on February 24th, 2023. The Committee was charged with monitoring telecommunication infrastructure for credible, free, fair, and transparent elections, enhancing the resilience of critical digital infrastructure against cyber threats, and developing procedures to prevent, detect, and respond to cyber attacks.
The statement further revealed that during the period of the Committee’s activity, 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. A total of 12,988,978 attacks were recorded, originating from both within and outside Nigeria. The Centres successfully blocked these attacks and/or escalated them to the relevant institutions for appropriate action.
Pantami reassured Nigerians of the Ministry’s commitment to ensuring a safe and secure cyberspace for all saying that the Communications and Digital Economy Ministry would continue to work with all stakeholders to mitigate cyber threats and build a resilient digital economy.
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