… Reveals 3,834,244 Attacks Were Recorded
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Professor Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami), has drawn the attention of the digital economy stakeholders and the general public to the Ministry’s activities before, during, and after the 2023 Gubernatorial and State Assembly elections.
It will be recalled that on the March 14, 2023, the Office of the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy released a Press Statement regarding the activities of the Ministry and its parastatals before, during and after the Presidential and National Assembly elections. As a follow up to that, and in line with the Ministry’s mandate as well as in its efforts aimed at supporting the initiatives of securing the Nigerian cyberspace, the Minister directed the Ministerial Standing Committee on Advisory Role for the Protection of Nigerian Cyberspace and ICT Infrastructure to further enhance the cyberspace surveillance activities of the three cybersecurity Centres of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and Galaxy Backbone Limited (GBB).
It may also be recalled that the Committee, inaugurated by the Minister on the eve of the Presidential and National Assembly elections, was charged with the following responsibilities, among others:
- Monitoring of Telecommunication Infrastructure for the successful conduct of the 2023 General Elections:
- Developing and implementing plans to enhance the resilience of critical digital infrastructure against cyber threats;
- Designing procedures and using technologies to prevent, detect, and respond to cyber-attacks, as well as developing the ability to quickly recover from any damage that is done;
- Developing a comprehensive risk assessment, analysing the nation’s current cybersecurity capabilities, and identifying gaps that need to be addressed; and
- Providing professional advice to the Government on the effective utilisation of digital technologies in the conduct of the 2023 General Elections.
Based on the Minister’s directives, the Committee provided close oversight on the activities of the cybersecurity Centres, from Friday March 17, 2023 to Monday March 20, 2023. During this period and as previously reported, a series of hacking attempts were recorded, including Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS), email and Internet Protocol Spoofing (IPS) attacks, SSH Login Attempts, Brute force Injection attempts, Path Traversal, Detection Evasion, and Forceful Browsing. A total of 3,834,244 attacks were recorded, originating from both within and outside Nigeria.
Daily breakdown of these attacks are:
- Friday March 17, 2023: 1,046,896
- Saturday March 18, 2023: 1,481,847
- Sunday March 19, 2023: 327,718
- Monday March 20, 2023: 977,783
According to a statement by the Senior Technical Assistant (Research and Development) to the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Femi Adeluyi, activities of cyberthreat actors on the Nigerian cyberspace during the Gubernatorial and State Assembly elections are much lower than those during the Presidential and National Assembly elections. “This is neither surprising nor unexpected as, Nigeria being Africa’s largest democracy, the Presidential and National Assembly elections are bound to attract much attention of everyone, including cyberthreat actors, than during the Gubernatorial and State Assembly elections,” he affirmed.
Adeluyi further noted that the Minister is confident that the implementation of some recommendations as well as measures taken to fortify the country’s cyber defence mechanisms might have helped in this.