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Cyber terrorists threaten Nigeria, FG pledges preparedness

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Nigeria is at risk of cyber terrorism including premeditated, politically motivated attacks against government; institutions; information and computer systems in the country, according to several research findings.

One of the reports – the 2019 KnowBe4 African Report, noted that despite claims of working against cyber attacks by authorities, Nigerians and citizens of some other countries in Africa are not prepared for cyber attacks.

Cyber terrorism, a clear and present danger, is the next big threat to countries around the globe and Nigeria appears most vulnerable.

Kaspersky security researchers have also found that there are thousands of notifications of attacks on major banks in Nigeria and other countries in the sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) region.

According to Kaspersky, the malware used in the attacks indicates that the threat actors are most likely to be an infamous Silence hacking group, previously known to be responsible for the theft of millions of dollars from banks across the world.

Back home, Nigeria Computer Society (NCS), said that banks in the country spent about N200 billion to prevent various forms of cyberattacks on their operations in 2019.

The NCS also pointed out that the two major attacks that confronted the financial sector last year were Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) and Social Engineering.

Also, the latest surveys by the Telemanagement Forum and Communications Fraud Control Association alarmed that Nigeria telecom industry alone may have N141.1 billion to frauds in 2019.

In response, the Nigerian government said, it has instituted the Security Incidence Response Team (CSIRT) centre, to curb cyber-attacks and respond appropriately to cyber breach incidents.

Prof. Umaru Danbatta, executive vice-chairman of the NCC, said technical measures and appropriate legal instruments are key in addressing cybercrimes and boosting cyber security.

He stressed that these will raise the integrity of ICT infrastructure and also to safeguard activities in the cyberspace.

Isa Pantami, minister of communications and digital economy, said that the volume of money being lost to cyber criminals globally explained the government’s commitment to securing the country’s national telecommunications infrastructure through necessary technical, legal and policy initiatives.

“Cybercrime is growing at the speed of light, in view of this, as part of our agenda of promoting security, we are giving priority to cybersecurity,” he said.

Beyond this however, Chris Uwaje, chair for IEEE-World Forum on Internet of Things (IoTs), said that one of the ways Nigeria can insulate herself from cyber terrorism is to come up with an agenda on cyber security, accept the agenda and ensure that the agenda is well implemented.


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