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FG set to enforce NIN-SIM rule, urges citizens to complete linkage in days

By Adeyemi Adepetun
01 April 2022   |   4:09 am
Though the extension handed citizens to link their National Identification Numbers (NINs) to Subscriber Identification Modules (SIMs) cards elapsed yesterday, the Federal Government has, nevertheless, called on the citizens to complete the linkage in the next few days.

• NCC uncovers cyber threats to Windows platforms, routers
Though the extension handed citizens to link their National Identification Numbers (NINs) to Subscriber Identification Modules (SIMs) cards elapsed yesterday, the Federal Government has, nevertheless, called on the citizens to complete the linkage in the next few days.

The advice was contained in a statement signed yesterday, by the Director, Public Affairs, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, and Head, Corporate Communications, National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), Kayode Adegoke.

The statement reads: “The general public would recall that the Federal Government approved an extension of the NIN-SIM linkage deadline to March 31, 2022.

“In preparation for the enforcement, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami) urges citizens and legal residents to use the next few days to ensure that they complete the linkage.

“To this end, the minister has further directed that the NIMC should offer enrolment services round the clock for the next few days. Prof. Pantami also thanks all those who have completed their NIN-SIM linkage.”

The Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, and Director-General/CEO of NIMC, Aliyu Aziz, urged citizens and legal residents to take advantage of the window to complete the process.

The Guardian reported yesterday that as at March 21, NIMC issued 77.1 million NINs in the country. Of the number, Nigerian males were 43.3 million, while the female folks had 33.7 million NINs.

Geographical registrations showed that Lagos led with 8.89 million. Kano had 6.3 million; Kaduna, 4.5 million; Ogun, 3.14 million; Oyo, 3.13 million; Abuja, 2.88 million; Rivers, 2.35 million; Katsina, 2.34 million; Delta, 2.12 million and Borno, 1.99 million.

IN another development, the Computer Security Incidents Response Team (CSIRT), set up by the NCC for the telecoms sector, has discovered two new cyber threats targeting Windows platforms and a particular kind of routers.

The discoveries were contained in two separate advisories released by the cyber-space protection team.

NCC, in another statement, yesterday, by its spokesman, Adinde, said the first cyber threat “is a ransomware known as ‘Lokilocker’ capable of deleting data from Windows systems or platforms.

It causes data loss and denial of service (DoS), as well as reduces user’s productivity.

The virus operates by encrypting user files and renders the compromised system useless if the victim does not pay the demanded ransom in time.

NCC explained that to hide the malicious activity, the ransomware displays a fake window update screen, cancels specific processes and services, and completely disables the task manager, windows error reporting, machine firewall and windows defender of the compromised system.

Sadly, it also has in-built processes that prevent data recovery as it deletes backup files, shadow copies, and removes system restore points. It also overwrites the user login note and modifies original equipment manufacturer (OEM) information in the registry of the compromised system.

The second cyber threat discovered by the NCC CSIRT is a Botnet that targets the Microtik version of routers. As CSIRT revealed, thousands of routers from Microtik which have been found to be vulnerable are being used to constitute what has been named one of the largest botnets in history

This botnet exploits an already-known vulnerability, which allows unauthenticated remote attackers to read arbitrary files and authenticated remote attackers to write arbitrary files, due to a directory traversal vulnerability in the WinBox interface. The vulnerability which was previously fixed allowed the perpetrators to enslave all the routers and then rent them out as a service.

In accordance with new research published by Avast, a cryptocurrency mining campaign taking advantage of the newly disrupted Glupteba botnet, as well as the famed Trickbot malicious software were found to have been disseminated by the very same command-and-control (C2) server. The C2 server functions as botnet-as-a-service, which controls nearly 230,000 vulnerable MicroTik routers.