We blocked 3.8m cyber attacks during governorship election, FGN reveals

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The Federal Government of Nigeria announced that a total of 3,834,244 cyber-attacks were made against the country during the last governorship and state house of assembly elections.

According to the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy Prof Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, the attacks originated from both within and outside Nigeria.

Pantami disclosed that 1.05m attacks were recorded a day to the governorship and state houses of assembly while 1.5m attacks were recorded on the election day.

327,718 attacks were recorded on Sunday, March 19 while 977,783 attacks were launched on the country’s IT infrastructure on Monday, March 20.

During election period, series of hacking attempts that were recorded and they include “Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS), email and Internet Protocol Spoofing (IPS) attacks, SSH Login Attempts, Brute force Injection attempts, Path Traversal, Detection Evasion, and Forceful Browsing.”

The statement signed and released by Pantami’s technical aide, Dr Femi Adeluyi, read:

“It is interesting to note that the activities of cyberthreat 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 cyberthreat actors, than during the Gubernatorial and State Assembly elections.

“Furthermore, the Honourable Minister is confident that the implementation of some recommendations as well as measures taken to fortify our cyber defence mechanisms might have helped in this.”

The Minister who explained that the attacks were neutralised by agencies under his ministry, added that the ministry had earlier developed and implemented plans to enhance the resilience of critical digital infrastructure against cyber threats in the country.

Pantami added that the country had designed procedures and used superior technologies to prevent, detect, and respond to cyber-attacks, as well as developed the ability to quickly recover from any damage that is done when attacks occur.