Nigerian public websites had over 6.9 million attempted attacks. Pantami
Isa Pantami, the minister of communication and digital economy, claimed that on February 25, 2023, the day of the most recent presidential and national assembly elections, public websites in Nigeria saw more than 6.9 million hacking attempts. According to him, this was a dramatic surge in attempted attacks on public websites, which stood at around 1.5 million daily before the elections. The minister disclosed this in a statement released on Tuesday, which was signed by his spokeswoman, Uwa Suleiman. Pantami, however, said the threats were blocked through the efforts of the cybersecurity centers established by parastatals under the ministry and the committee he set up a day before the election. According to him, in line with the Ministry’s mandate of securing the country’s cyberspace, the parastatals under the supervision of the Ministry have established cybersecurity centers, namely the National Information Technology Development Agency’s Computer Emergency Readiness and Response Team (CERRT), the Nigerian Communications Commission’s Computer Security Incident Response Team (CSIRT), and Galaxy Backbone’s Security Operations Centre (SOC). He said these centers were established between 2020 and 2022 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. Increased threats: Highlighting the achievements of the committee he set up before the February 25 elections,
- Pantami said: * “It is worth nothing that in the run-up to the 2023 General Elections, threat intelligence revealed an astronomical increase in cyber threats to Nigeria’s cyberspace. Generally, threats to public websites and portals averaged around 1,550 per day. However, this skyrocketed to 6, 997, and 277 on Presidential Election Day.”
- The Minister further disclosed that the threats increased to 12.9 million between February 24th and February 28th, when the cybersecurity committee worked.
“The Committee’s activity started on February 24 and ended on February 28, 2023. During this period, 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 were attacked and/or escalated to the relevant institutions for appropriate action, “he said. Recall that on February 24, 2023, the Minister inaugurated the Ministerial Standing Committee on Advisory Roles for the Protection of Nigerian Cyberspace and ICT Infrastructure. The Committee, chaired by the Board Chairman of NCC, with the CEOs of NCC, NITDA, and GBB as members, was charged with the following responsibilities, among others: * Monitoring of telecommunications infrastructure for the successful conduct of credible, free, fair, and transparent elections * Designing procedures and using technologies to prevent, detect, and respond to cyber attacks, as well as developing the ability to recover from any damage that is done quickly, Ministry’s mandate: As part of its mandate, the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy is expected to ensure adequate protection of Nigeria’s cyberspace to a level that citizens will have confidence in digital services. This mandate aligns with the goals and objectives of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy for a Digital Nigeria (NDEPS).