How FG tackled over 12m cyberattacks during 2023 Presidential, NASS polls 

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By Ibiyemi Mathew

The Federal Government of Nigeria disclosed that it tackled over 12million cyberattacks during the conduct of the 2023 Nigerian Presidential and National Assembly Polls.

In a press statement issued by  the Spokesperson to the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Uwa Suleiman,  the ministry noted 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 1,550,000 daily. However, this skyrocketed to 6,997,277 on Presidential Election Day.”

“The 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 Centers successfully blocked these attacks and/or escalated them to the relevant institutions for appropriate action.” The statement revealed.

On 24th February 2023, the Minister inaugurated the Ministerial Standing Committee on Advisory Role for the Protection of Nigerian Cyberspace and ICT Infrastructure. The Committee is chaired by the Board Chairman of NCC and with the CEOs of NCC, NITDA and GBB as members.

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy Professor Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami stated that the inauguration of the committee and the establishment of the cybercentres is line with the efforts of the ministry in supporting the initiatives of securing the Nigerian cyberspacewishes before, during, and after the 2023 Presidential Elections.

The established Cybersecurity Centers are 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).

These Centers were established between 2020 and 2022 in line with the Honourable Minister’s policy directives 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.