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Hacker group targets Nigerian companies over ECOWAS threat of military action against Niger


Anonymous Sudan, a hacker collective from Sudan, has declared that it aims at Nigerian companies in retaliation to the perceived threat of military intervention in Niger. Nigeria’s central IT agency sent out a public advisory yesterday as the group assails NITDA and admits to orchestrating an attack on MTN.

Anonymous Sudan, a hacktivist group supporting Russia, sent an alert to Nigerians via its Telegram channel on Wednesday morning. By noon, the group boasted of initiating a cyber assault against MTN Nigeria, the nation’s biggest telecommunications company. While MTN hasn’t verified the attack, the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) acknowledged in a press statement that Anonymous Sudan had targeted its digital framework. It also urged Nigerian financial services, governmental entities, and telecommunication companies to brace themselves for a wave of attacks and provided preventive strategies.

The penalties have been imposed in reaction to the military’s ousting of Niger’s President, Mohamed Bazoum. The regional group of West Africa, ECOWAS, spearheaded by Nigeria’s President Bola Tinubu, has given the coup instigators a week to restore Bazoum to his position—a deadline set to expire on Sunday. ECOWAS has stated it is contemplating a military intervention to re-establish constitutional order.

Just last week, Anonymous Sudan claimed credit for a series of Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) assaults on Kenyan media, hospitals, universities, and businesses. DDoS attacks are cyberattacks in which the perpetrator obstructs users from accessing an online service, website, or connected device by inundating the servers with internet traffic. The group’s declaration of attacking MTN mirrors Kenya’s strategy, targeting Safaricom, the country’s largest telecommunications company.

The group’s cyber assaults in Kenya have prompted the Nigerian Computer Emergency Response Team to issue guidelines for averting similar successes on Nigerian soil. Some of these preventive measures include the implementation of firewalls and DDoS protection services, integrating CAPTCHA tests on websites, and restricting network broadcasting.

As most of the continent transitions to digital platforms, cybersecurity still awaits substantial focus. The continent is estimated to lose approximately $3.5 to $4 billion annually to cyberattacks. According to cybersecurity researchers Nathaniel Allen and Noëlle van der Waag-Cowling, “African nations generally display low levels of cyber maturity and have restricted offensive and defensive cyber capabilities. Nearly all are reliant on foreign entities for crucial information.”




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