The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Pantami, on Tuesday reported that over 6.9 million hacking attempts by cybercriminals were recorded in public websites during the Presidential and National Assembly elections conducted on February 25 nationwide.
Noting that the hacking attempts during the day is a huge surge from the daily attempts of about 1.5 million being recorded before the elections, the minister stated that the threats to the public websites were blocked by the cybersecurity centres in the various parastatals of the ministry as well as the committee set up by the government a day before the elections.
Pantami, in a statement issues by his media aide, Uwa Sulaiman, indicated that as a proactive measure by the ministry to ensure security in the nation’s cyberspace, some key Centres, namely the National Information Technology Development Agency’s (NITDA’s) Computer Emergency Readiness and Response Team (CERRT), the Nigerian Communications Commission’s (NCC’s) Computer Security Incident Response Team (CSIRT) and the Galaxy Backbone’s (GBB’s) Security Operations Centre (SOC) were established between 2020 and 2022.
He explained: “It is worth noting that in the run-up to the 2023 General Elections, threat intelligence revealed an astronomical increase in cyber threat to Nigerian cyberspace.
“Generally, threats to public websites and portals averaged around 1,500,000 daily. However, these skyrocketed to 6,997,277 on Presidential Election Day”, the minister added.
According to him, the threats surged to 12.9 million between February 24 and 28 as the committee intensified its monitoring of the nation’s cyberspace.
Pantami further clarified: “This 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”, he added.
It would be recalled that the Minister had on 24th February inaugurated the Ministerial Standing Committee on Advisory Role for the Protection of Nigerian Cyberspace and ICT Infrastructure, chaired by the NCC Board Chairman with members comprising the CEOs of NCC, NITDA and GBB.