THE Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy has said while monitoring the cyberspace, about 12.9 million attacks were launched against the servers of the Independent National Electorral Commission (INEC) during the Presidential elections on Februay 25 both from within and outside the country.
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Pantami, who disclosed, however, said the Committee, set up chaired by the Board Chairman of Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and with the Chief Executive Officers of the NCC, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) and Galaxy Backbone Bone (GBB) as members, charged with the following responsibilities of protecting the cyber space successfully blocked these attacks and/or escalated them to the relevant institutions for appropriate action.
In a statement signed by Spokesperson to the Minister, Uwa Suleiman and made available to journalists, Tuesday, Pantami said the activities of the committee started on February 24th 2023 and ended on February 28, 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 Centers successfully blocked these attacks and/or escalated them to the relevant institutions for appropriate action.”
The Minister while acknowledging the import of the committee to Nigeria’s cyber space, added: “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 recover from any damage that is done quickly, developing a comprehensive risk assessment, analyzing the nation’s current cybersecurity capabilities, and identifying gaps that need to be addressed and providing professional advice to the government on the effective utilization of digital technologies in the conduct of the 2023 General Elections.”
According to him, it is worth noting that in the run-up to the 2023 general elections, threat intelligence revealed an astronomical increase in cyber threats to Nigerian cyberspace, explaining that generally, threats to public websites and portals averaged 1,550,000 daily.
However, he said this skyrocketed to 6,997,277 on presidential Election Day and monitoring Nigeria’s cyberspace before, during and after the 2023 presidential elections.
Pantami, said: “As part of its mandate, the Ministry is expected to ensure adequate protection of Nigeria’s cyberspace to a level that citizens will have confidence in digital services. This mandate aligns with the goals and objectives of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy for a Digital Nigeria (NDEPS).
“In line with this mandate and in our efforts at supporting the initiatives of securing the Nigerian cyberspace, the parastatals under the supervision of the Ministry have established Cybersecurity Centers, namely, the National Information Technology (NITDA)’s Computer Emergency Readiness and Response Team (CERRT), the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC)’s Computer Security Incident Response Team (CSIRT), and Galaxy Backbone (GBB)’s Security Operations Centre (SOC).
Pantami, a professor of cybersecurity, admitted that the parastatals, under the supervision of the ministry 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.
“More importantly, the Minister notes that these attainments are as a result of the commitment of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, towards ensuring Nigeria’s successful transition into the digital economy.
“The digital economy sector has enjoyed continued support of the President and it is highly appreciated. He also hopes that lessons learned during the process will be put to effective use in subsequent elections,” the statement added.