March 23, 2023

We recorded 3.83m cyber attacks during guber, state Assembly polls — Pantami

We recorded 3.83m cyber attacks during guber, state Assembly polls — Pantami


By Emmanuel Elebeke

Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Ali Pantami, said yesterday that 3,834,244 attacks were recorded during the just concluded governorship and state Houses of Assembly elections.

According to him, the attacks originated from both within and outside the country.

In a statement by his Senior Technical Assistant (Research and Development), Dr Femi Adeluyi, the minister said the activities of cyberthreat actors on the Nigerian cyberspace during the gubernatorial and state Assembly elections were much lower than those during the Presidential and National Assembly elections.

He said a daily breakdown of the attacks showed that on Friday, March 17, 2023, 1,046,896 attacks were recorded; Saturday, March 18, 2023, 1,481,847; Sunday, March 19, 2023: 327,718 and Monday, March 20, 2023,  977,783.

“The attacks were not 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 cyberthreat actors, than during the gubernatorial and state Assembly elections.”

He expressed confidence that the implementation of some recommendations as well as measures taken to fortify the nation’s cyber defence mechanisms might have helped in this regard.

Pantami reiterateed that these attainments would not have been possible without the continued support of the Buhari’s administration towards ensuring Nigeria’s successful transition into the digital economy.

He said: “The digital economy sector has enjoyed Mr President’s unprecedented support and it is highly appreciated.”

It will be recalled that on March 14, 2023, the office of the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy released a statement regarding the activities of the ministry and its parastatals before, during and after the presidential and National Assembly elections.

As a follow up to that and in line with the ministry’s mandate and efforts aimed at supporting the initiatives of securing the Nigerian cyberspace, the minister directed the Ministerial Standing Committee on Advisory Role for the Protection of Nigerian Cyberspace and ICT Infrastructure to further enhance the cyberspace surveillance activities of the three cybersecurity centres.

The centres include National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA; Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, and Galaxy Backbone Limited, GBB.

The committee, inaugurated by the minister on the eve of the Presidential and National Assembly elections, was charged with the following responsibilities, among others: monitoring of Telecommunication Infrastructure for the successful conduct of the 2023 general elections; developing and implementing plans to enhance the resilience of critical digital infrastructure against cyber threats, among others.