The federal government has revealed an astronomical increase in cyber threats to Nigerian cyberspace.
According to the federal government’s threat intelligence report, generally threats to public websites and portals average around 1,550,000 daily, but this skyrocketed to 6,997,277 on Presidential Election Day on February 25, 2023.
The Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy disclosed this in a statement signed by the spokesperson to the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Uwa Sulaiman.
According to the statement, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ibrahim Pantami, had directed all the parastatals under his supervision to enhance their 24/7 monitoring of the networks and traffic for potential attacks from 24th February 2023 to 27th February 2023.
He added, “Furthermore, on 24th February 2023, the minister inaugurated the Ministerial Standing Committee on Advisory Role for the Protection of Nigerian Cyberspace and ICT Infrastructure. The Committee, chaired by the Board Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and with the CEOs of NCC, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) and Galaxy Backbone (GBB) as members, was charged with certain responsibilities.”
According to the statement, the responsibilities include: Monitoring of Telecommunication Infrastructure for the successful conduct of credible, free, fair, and transparent elections; Developing and implementing plans to enhance the resilience of critical digital infrastructure against cyber threats; and 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.
Other responsibilities include: 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.
“The committee’s activity started on 24th February 2023 and ended on 28th February 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 attacks were recorded, originating from both within and outside Nigeria. It is worth noting that the centres successfully blocked these attacks and/or escalated them to the relevant institutions for appropriate action.
“The parastatals, under the supervision of the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, have played a crucial role in providing the enabling environment for the successful conduct of a credible, free, fair, and transparent election. The Minister commends all stakeholders in the digital economy ecosystem for their support that resulted into this this unprecedented success,” the statement said.
Pantami however attributed the success recorded to the commitment of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, towards ensuring Nigeria’s successful transition into the digital economy.