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Experts predict ‘cyber kidnapping’ from next year as attacks hit $500m in Nigeria

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Experts in Nigeria’s cyber space gathered Thursday in Lagos to review current challenges and proffer solutions to avoid series of planned attacks next year.

Stakeholders decried the rising cases of system hacking and feared the chances of the crime to grow to cyber kidnapping, a scenario where hackers will gain access to a system and call the owners including banks and government institutions for ransom or even destroy or alter setting if ransom is not paid within stipulated time frame.

Experts gave example with the Ghana Electoral Commission Wednesday when its site was kidnapped for four hours and later released. It was not however clear if any ransom was paid before the system came back.

Already, the Nigerian Cyber Security Report 2016 has revealed that the nation lost over $500m in the last few years to cyber attacks amongst banking institutions, government bodies and some mega corporations.

The report however identified some of the cases include e-Commerce platforms hit with more online scams, ATM skimming and identity thefts, poor technical training of IT employees by governments and companies, low cyber security awareness, malware targeting critical mobile and internet banking infrastructure are on the rise, insider threat remain the largest contributor of direct loses in cybercrimes, and lack of practical regulatory guidance from regulators and governments.

The summit put together by stakeholders saw chilling presentations from experts.

According to the former Director General of National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Mr. Emeka Mba who presented a lead paper on ‘Cyber Implications of Digital TV Switch Over and How to Combat it’, he said “As the nation plans to join other parts of the world to migrate from analogue to digital terrestrial broadcasting next year, there is need for caution on the ways and manner of the transition to avoid hackers from having access to critical central operating units of content developers and servers of the digital systems coming with the scheme”.

He said efforts should be made to guide passwords and other strategic platforms to be used by service providers and content developers to limit breaches and illegal access to codes and systems.

Also speaking, the Principal Partner at technology Advisors, Mr. Basil Udotai said even through there had been a law that provides for electronic evidences to be tendered in law Court, there is still challenges in defining their authenticity and admissibility.

Other presenters at the summit include EVC of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, Dr. Isa Pantami, DG of NITDA, Sunday Afolayan, Ikecukwu Nnamani, President of NIRA, Shino Badaru, Ayotunde Coker of Rack centre Limited, Emma Eze of SystemsSpec.

The summit was put together by Centre for Cyber Awareness and Development (CECAD).


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