12.9m Cyber Attacks Recorded On Election Day, FG Reveals

The Federal Government has revealed that a total of 12.9 million cyber attacks were recorded within and outside the country during the February 25th Presidential and National Assembly Elections.

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Professor Isa Pantami disclosed this on Tuesday in a statement by his spokesperson, Mrs Uwa Sulaiman in Abuja.

Pantami said,” 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.

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“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,” he said.

The minister added that over 6.9 million attacks were recorded on election day.

“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.

“Generally, threats to public websites and portals averaged around 1,550,000daily. However, this skyrocketed to 6,997,277 on Presidential Election Day,”.

The statement explained that, “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).

“TheseCenters were established between 2020 and 2022 in line with the Honourable Minister’s policy directive and have been monitoring Nigerian cyberspace for potential threats and taking appropriate actions to mitigate them, both individually and collectively as well as in collaboration with other stakeholders.

“The Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, as a Professor of Cybersecurity and one that is very passionate about ensuring a safe and secure cyberspace, directed all the parastatals to enhance their 24/7 monitoring of the networks and traffic for potential attacks from 24th February 2023 to 27th February 2023.

“Furthermore, on 24th February 2023, the Honourable 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 NCC and with the CEOs of NCC, NITDA and GBB as members, was charged with responsibilities.

“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 Honourable Minister commends all stakeholders in the digital economy ecosystem for their support that resulted into this this unprecedented success.

“More importantly, the Honourable Minister notes that these attainments are as a result of the commitment of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR 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,”.

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