ICT

About 4million cyber-attacks recorded during gov poll – FG

The Federal Government has stated that it recorded close to four million cyber-attacks in the period leading to and during the governorship elections.
According to the government, a total of 3.83 million attacks were recorded, originating from both within and outside the country.
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, disclosed this in a statement signed by his Senior Technical Assistant (Research and Development), Dr Femi Adeluyi.
The minister explained that the attacks, which were recorded from Friday 17th March 2023 to Monday 20th March 2023, included Distributed Denial of Service, email and Internet protocol spoofing attacks, SSH login attempts, brute force injection attempts, path traversal, detection evasion, and forceful browsing.
The minister revealed that on Friday 17th March, 2023, a total of 1,046,896 attacks were recorded; Saturday 18th March 2023 recorded 1,481,847 attacks; while the total attacks recorded on Sunday 19th March 2023 were put at 327,718; on Monday 20th March 2023, the number of attacks was put at 977,783.
On March 14, the Federal Government through Pantami inaugurated a committee in an advisory capacity for the protection of Nigeria’s Cyberspace and ICT infrastructure during the election.
The Board Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission was the committee’s chairman and the CEOs of NCC, National Information Technology, and Galaxy Backbone were members.
After the presidential elections, Pantami disclosed that the 2023 presidential and National Assembly elections recorded 12.99 million cyber-attacks between 24th February and 28th February, with the presidential election day (25th February) attracting 6.99 million attacks.
Commenting on why governorship and state house of assembly elections attracted fewer cyberattacks, the statement said, “It is interesting to note that the activities of cyber threat 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 cyber threat actors, than during the governorship and state assembly elections.”
After the government announced that it recorded almost 13 million cyber-attacks during the presidential and national assembly elections, The PUNCH, spoke to two cyber-security experts who stated that the figure seemed somewhat inflated.
The President of Nigeria Computer Society, Professor Adesina Sodiya, has in an interview said the announced figures were impossible.
He said, “Based on my personal experience, I am wondering how they would experience that amount of large cyber-attack in a day during the election.
“Based on my experience, I do not think we could have up to that. But we need further information as to why they said that.”
He explained that since cyber-attacks were coordinated, it was almost impossible for hackers to randomly send repeated attack signals.
The professor of cyber-security added, “In cyber-attacks, there is something we call localisation of attacks. And what that means is that different attack signals are categorised as a single attack because they are coming from the same source, are in the same mould, and in the same method.
“Something might have caused a single attack to replicate itself many times, which is why we need to investigate this claim.”
When asked about the possibility of recording millions of cyber-attacks in a day, the Chief Technology Officer, NJALO.NG, Chukwuemeka Orjiani, stated, “It is not possible. This is a lot of propaganda and issues going on in the country.
“That figure is not true. They could be having requests; it is possible for them to have requests. And when your service cannot take enough bandwidth, the server will feel that it is being attacked.”
While speaking recently, the Managing Director of Galaxy Backbone, Prof. Muhammad Abubakar, disclosed that the Federal Government blocked over 200 cyber-attacks during the presidential and National Assembly elections.
Abubakar, who was a member of the presidential committee on cyber-attack prevention during the elections, said, “On the election day alone, we were able to block more than 200 attacks and the next day, the attacks geometrically increased to about 1.2 million and all were blocked from our own businesses.”

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