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Expert blames fundamental flaw in IP for cyberattacks

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Dr. Adewale Obadare, co-founder, Digital Encode, has attributed activities of cybercriminal on the super-highway to fundamental flaws in the internet protocol.

He explained that the internet is structuredin a Transmission Control Protocol/ Internet protocol (TCP/IP) which is the protocol that is powering the internet.

“Unfortunately that protocol is not designed for security because internet was designed for communications but now we are using internet for a lot of things including sensitive transactions. But because of the fundamental problem of lack of security which is an afterthought for internet, cyber criminals who are aware of this basic flaw of internet are exploring that vulnerability that exists to attack.”

Obadare spoke on the calamities and tragedy that came with Covid-19, said: “What we need to understand is that with the emergence of Covid-19 pandemic, there is massive usage of internet technology. A lot of people that were not using the internet before started using it. This means that there is an increase in the usage of internet activities and so everything has become electronic.

“Looking at the dangers, we have to look at it from three perspectives namely; personal security which has to do with the end user, business security and national security.

“As a result of lockdown, a lot of individuals are working from home so there was a shift in focus for hackers to end users because they are not security conscious and their devices are vulnerable.

“From statistics there were more attacks on individual devices and government infrastructure than corporate devices during Covid-19”.

He explained further that any device can be digitally evaded if there are issues with four factors which include architecture, design, implementation and operation.

“Most of the times there is always issues with any of these four factors. It is either your architecture is bad or you have issue with your design or you have issue with the way you have implemented your technology or how you operate the device, which build inherent vulnerability within our systems and hackers take advantage of issues like these and brake into systems and cause havoc”.

Elsewhere Dr Kenneth Geers, senior fellow of the Atlantic Council and a NATO Cyber Centre ambassador has warned that organisations and critical infrastructure across the world are set to experience an increasing number of cyber- attacks, perpetrated by well-funded rogue nation states and attackers looking to disrupt operations, make money or commit industrial espionage.

He said the Coronavirus pandemic is providing cyber spies and criminals with new opportunities to gain a foothold on target computer networks via phishing and other forms of social engineering.

“We must do a better job of educating our employees and citizens about the dynamics and dangers of social engineering.

“We are overdue for a cyber- attack on national critical infrastructure, somewhere, of sufficient scale that national security decision makers will be compelled to address questions of digital deterrence and arms control in a more systematic way,” he said.


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