Guber Polls: Nigeria Blocked 3.8m Cyber Attacks
By Na’ankwat Dariem, Abuja
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Pantami, says government blocked over 3.8 million cyber-attacks from within and outside Nigeria during Saturday, March 18th Governorship and House of Assembly elections.
Professor Pantami said the hacking attempts started a day before the polls in different forms.
Professor Pantami said the implementation of some recommendations as well as measures taken to fortify Nigerian cyber defence mechanisms have helped in blocking the attacks.
In a statement, signed by Dr Femi Adeluyi, the Senior Technical Assistant (Research and Development) to the Minister, Professor Pantami, put the breakdown of the attacks as follows;
Friday, March 17, (1,046,896);
Saturday, March 18 (1,481,8470);
Sunday, March 19 (327,718) and Monday, March 20, (977,783).
Professor Pantami said the blockage was facilitated by the cyberspace infrastructure installed by the government to monitor activities in Nigeria’s cyberspace before, during and after the elections.
He stated that the Nigerian Government formed a standing committee with the mandate to secure the nation’s cyberspace, which consolidated its efforts, as recorded during the Presidential elections, to ensure that Nigeria’s cyberspace remained safe and secure.
The Minister also applauded President Muhammadu Buhari for his support and approval of initiatives to promote the digital economy and cyber security.
Professor Pantami said; “it is interesting to note that the activities of cyber threat actors on 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 more attention of everyone, including cyber-threat actors, than during the Gubernatorial and State Assembly elections.”
Professor Pantami said the committee, which monitored telecommunication infrastructure for the successful conduct of the 2023 General Elections, was charged with 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.
“This is 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 Cyber-security capabilities, and identifying gaps that need to be addressed as well as providing professional advice to the Government on the effective utilisation of digital technologies in the conduct of the 2023 General Elections, ” he explained.