The Senate has said Nigerian businesses lost over $450 million through 3500 cyber attacks which occurred on the 12th of May, 2017.
Alarmed by the development, the Upper Legislative Chamber resolved to convoke a national summit and alerted the National Security Adviser (NSA) and security agencies as well as financial institutions about the current and threatening dimensions of cyber attacks.
The Senate made the revelation on Tuesday, following the adoption of a motion sponsored by Senator Buhari Abdulfatai (APC, Oyo) tagged, “Worrisome dimension of Cyber-Crime and Insecurity urgent need for concerted efforts to secure Nigeria’s Cyberspace.”
Senator Abdulfatai in arguing the motion said: “Alarmed about revelations from studies that over 70% of hacking attempts so far, i.e. about 3500 cyber-attacks on the Nigeria lCT space, have been successful resulting in loss of over $450 million and that government servers are currently under serious threat.”
Explaining further, he said: “Cyber attacks are taking a dangerous dimension all over the world, for instance the Lloyds Banking Group and Barclays Bank of UK suffered 48-hour online attack from 11th to 13m of January this year, in which the criminals attempted to block about 20 million accounts, bombarded Lloyds, Halifax and Bank of Scotland with millions of fake requests designed to grind the groups’ systems to a halt and asked for a huge ransom in bit coins to end the attacks which were being prevented by the Denial of Access (DOS) system.
“On the 12th of May alone this year, at least 200,000 targets in over 150 countries were hit by cyber-attacks which the Internet Protocol suggested to have originated from the Middle East particularly from Syria and Iran, as well as from Kenya, supposedly using a malware known as Lazarus to compromise systems in banking and information networks, with no clear evidence yet as to how the act was perfected, and that the criminals are already targeting Nigeria.”
Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu (PDP, Enugu) who presided over plenary, called on stakeholders to come together and find a lasting solution to the menace.
He also warned that strategic institutions of government may be attacked if urgent steps were not put in place by the relevant agencies to curtail the spread.
Ekweremadu said: “They hack into our emails everyday. I am also a victim. They open social media accounts in my name and I have said it that I am not on social media. The main threat is that our strategic institutions maybe attacked by these hackers. All stakeholders need to come together to deal with this challenge.”
The Senate accordingly mandated its Committee on ICT and Cyber crime to immediately convoke a National Stakeholder Conference on Cyber Security with a view to stimulating a collective reflection among relevant stakeholders and articulating a national broad-based approach to keeping the country safe.
Recall that a malware attack in 99 countries which rapidly spread across the globe has created a worldwide panic and alert on cyber threats.