By Francesca Iwambe
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Professor Isa Pantami has disclosed that the Federal Government blocked over 3.8 million cyberattacks and threats during the March 18 gubernatorial and States Houses of Assembly elections across the country.
Pantami said the blockage was facilitated by cyberspace infrastructures put in place by the government to monitor activities in the nation's cyberspace before, during and after the elections.
He said a standing Committee put together by the Federal Government with the mandate to secure the nation's cyberspace consolidated on its efforts as recorded during the Presidential elections to ensure that Nigeria cyberspace remained safe and secure.
The Minister in a statement signed by his Senior Special Assistant on Technical Matters, Dr Femi Adeluyi, also commended President Muhammadu Buhari for the support and approvals of initiatives to promote Digital Economy and cyber security.
Pantami who gave the breakdown of the attacks from Friday 17th of March to Monday 20th of March, noted that they emanated from within and outside Nigeria.
He said:”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 17th March, 2023: 1,046,896
Saturday 18th March, 2023: 1,481,847
Sunday 19th March, 2023: 327,718
Monday 20th March, 2023: 977,783
“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”.
Pantami credited the Ministerial Standing Committee on Advisory Role for the Protection of Nigerian Cyberspace and ICT Infrastructure for the feat, asserting that Nigeria would continue to appreciate 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).
Explaining the disparities in the attacks compared to previous elections, Pantami acknowledged that “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.”