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Experts react to 13million cyberattacks during polls

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The Federal Government’s assertion that 12.99 million cyberattacks were registered during the elections is implausible, according to cybersecurity experts.

They said that the administration must defend its assertion and for experts to examine its operating procedures.

Lagospost earlier reported that Isa Pantami, the minister of communications and the digital economy, on Tuesday, revealed that there were 12.99 million cyberattacks during the election week.

He stated that on the presidential election day (25th February), there were 6.99 million attacks.

He explained that the attacks recorded included a series of hacking attempts including Distributed Denial of Service, email and IPS attacks, SSH login attempts, brute force injection attempts, path traversal, detection evasion, and forceful browsing.

Pantami noted that the Presidential cybersecurity committee for the election was up to the task and blocked all the attacks.

A statement signed by Pantami’s spokesperson, Uwa Sulaiman, read in part: “It is worth noting 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.”

However, cybersecurity experts have countered the claims of the government explaining that propaganda could be informing the claim.

The President of Nigeria Computer Society, Professor Adesina Sodiya, said: “Based on my personal experience, I am wondering how they would experience that amount of large cyberattack 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 stated that when the NCS tried to find out if INEC had recorded any attack recently, the chairman of the commission stated that there was no attack. “Now that they are saying there were cyberattacks, it is not correlating.”

Speaking further, Sodiya, said: “In my experience as a professor of cybersecurity, they cannot experience that amount of cyberattacks.

“Cyberattacks are sometimes coordinated. When they try once and they don’t get access, they try again.”

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