Fear has gripped most of the commercial banks and other operators in the financial industry, due to the alleged cyberattack on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) recently.
It would be recalled that an alleged popular international cyber hacking group, known as Anonymous, in solidarity with the disrupted #EndSARS protest in Nigeria, hacked the apex bank’s official website and few other firms, while warning others of greater action in the coming weeks.
A source, however, revealed that many top bank executives have been meeting with their Information Technology (IT) departments on how to prevent possible attacks by the so-called ‘Anonymous’.
In solidarity with Protesters
Anonymous, which came into limelight in 2003, claimed it launched the attack in solidarity with #EndSARS protest and threatened to “takedown” websites of key public institutions.
Meanwhile, the group had in the recent time hijacked the Twitter handle of the National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) and posted anti-SARS campaign content on it.
The group had since claimed responsibility in successfully invaded handles digital assets of more organisations.
It was also learned that an operator has listed “Anonymous campaign in Nigeria as number one item” on its weekly management brainstorming and directed the IT to furnish it with a detailed profile of Anonymous’ operational style.
Anonymous boasts of the capacity to infiltrate any website no matter how protected with some of their members claiming to be doing it “for fun”.
Commenting, experts in the cybersecurity and ICT spaces have, however, advised the Federal Government to be proactive in protecting the country’s cyberspace.
A cybersecurity expert, Chukwuemeka Orjiani, blamed successful attacks on regulatory agencies such as the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) and Galaxy Backbone.
Orjiani blamed authorities for using open software long abandoned. He said when these websites were created, they were not handed over to professionals to manage them and advised government to put round pegs in round holes.
On preventive measures, the President of Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), Olusola Teniola, said the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and NITDA had been raising cybersecurity awareness, saying, “This is one of the best ways to educate, provide information and sensitise those who use the Internet to perform many tasks online. The more a user of the internet is aware of the threats that are present on the Internet, the more likely that they are protected from potential hackers.”
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, had reiterated the importance of collective efforts by all stakeholders toward enhancing the security of cyberspace for Nigerians.
“Cybersecurity awareness has become imperative due to the attendant risks that emanate from the appreciable migration of several transactions, meetings, lectures and other forms of interaction to online and digital platforms due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” he had said.
He stressed that while there were adequate laws, policies and frameworks in the country on cyber security collective efforts had become necessary in response to the pandemic.
Meanwhile, cybercrime is projected to cost the world up to $6 trillion (aboutN270 trillion) in damages with over 60 per cent of small businesses vulnerable.