JUST-IN: NITDA Alerts Nigerians Over Attacks On National Digital Infrastructure

ABUJA – The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), through its Computer Emergency Readiness and Response Team, has detected Distributed Danial-Of-Service (DDOS) attack on national vital digital infrastructure.

The attack, which is being carried out by a hacktivist group, known for its politically and religiously motivated cyber campaigns, poses a significant risk to the nation’s critical information infrastructure. Their tactics include targeted attacks on government digital services, using various attack types particularly DDoS attack, and they have a track record of successful attacks in various countries.

In a press statement, signed by the head, Corporate Affairs and External Relations, NITDA, Mrs. Hadiza Umar, on Wednesday, NITDA alerted the general public to be wary of the occurrence of these attacks which underscore the undeniable and concerning fact that cyber-attacks are not a distant threat but rather a looming danger that resides much closer to Nigerians than the country may have previously acknowledged.

“This realization compels us to recognize the urgency of reinforcing our cyber front, fortifying our digital defenses to shield against these malicious intrusions and secure the safety of our critical information and infrastructure,” it stated.

The press statement averred that the consequences of such cyber-attacks are always severe and may have wide-ranging impacts which includes: Disruption of Critical Services, Economic Losses, as well as Public Trust and Reputation Loss.

To guide against attacks targeted towards Government Institutions and other critical sectors, the National Information Technology Development Agency’s Computer Emergency Readiness and Response Team (NITDA-CERRT) advised all Ministries, Departments, and Agencies, including other providers of critical services in the country to ensure the implementation of measures to prevent against DDOS attacks, such as deploying DDoS Monitoring systems to watch out for signs of DDoS attacks and minimizing the attack surface area thereby limiting the options for attackers and allowing one to build protections in a single place.

Other measures organisations, which should be put in place, according to NITDA are; “Implementing or subscribing to DDoS protection features, applications or services to fortify your cyber defenses against disruptive DDoS attacks. e.g. rate limiting, load balancing, traffic filtering, Content Delivery Network (CDN), Web application Firewalls, etc; Ensuring that hosting providers offer abundant redundant Internet connectivity, enabling systems to manage significant volumes of traffic effectively and configuring network hardware such as firewall or router to drop incoming ICMP packets or block DNS responses from outside the network (by blocking UDP port 53).”

Furthermore, enhancement of all critical national infrastructure such as financial services providers, telecommunications providers, and relevant government service providers should ensure cyber security readiness and resilience by implementing necessary cyber security measures to safeguard against potential attacks, NITDA further advised.

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