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Nigeria recorded over 3.8m cyber attacks during governorship elections – FG

The federal government has announced that about 3,834,244 hacking attempts were made on Nigeria’s cyberspace before, during, and after the 2023 Gubernatorial and State Assembly elections.

According to a statement issued by the ministry of telecommunications and digital economy, a ministerial standing committee which was set up to monitor the cyberspace, observed a series of hacking attempts 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 from March 17 to March 2023.

It stated that a total of 3,834,244 attacks were recorded, originating from both within and outside Nigeria.

Daily breakdown of these attacks showed that 1,046,896 was recorded on Friday, March 17, 2023: 1,481,847 on Saturday, March 18, 327,718 on Sunday and 977,783 on Monday, March 20, 2023.

The Committee, according to the Ministry was inaugurated for effective monitoring of telecommunication infrastructure for the successful conduct of the 2023 General Elections.

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Other responsibilities of the committee included 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 among others.

“It is interesting to note that the 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.

“It may be recalled that on the 14th March, 2023, the Office of the Honourable 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 our efforts aimed at supporting the initiatives of securing the Nigerian cyberspace, the Honourable 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).

“The implementation of some recommendations as well as measures taken to fortify our cyber defence mechanisms might have helped in this,” the statement read.