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Nigerian Minister Reports Over 3.8 Million Cyberattacks During March 18 State Elections

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ABUJA, NIGERIA – Isa Pantami, Nigeria’s minister for communications and digital economy, revealed that Nigeria experienced a total of 3,834,244 cyberattacks during the recently held Governorship and State Houses of Assembly elections.

According to the Minister, these attacks originated from both within and outside the country.

In a statement released on Wednesday, March 22, 2023, Pantami’s Senior Technical Assistant (Research and Development), Dr. Femi Adeluyi, shared that the number of cyber threats during the Gubernatorial and State Assembly elections was significantly lower than those recorded during the Presidential and National Assembly elections.

The statement provided a daily breakdown of the attacks, showing that 1,046,896 attacks were recorded on Friday, March 17, 2023; 1,481,847 attacks on Saturday, March 18, 2023; 327,718 attacks on Sunday, March 19, 2023; and 977,783 attacks on Monday, March 20, 2023. The election held on Saturday, March 18, 2023.

Minister Pantami stated that the large number of attacks was neither surprising nor unexpected, given Nigeria’s status as Africa’s largest democracy. He noted that the Presidential and National Assembly elections would naturally attract more attention from cyber threat actors than the Gubernatorial and State Assembly elections.

Pantami expressed confidence that the implementation of several recommendations, as well as measures taken to strengthen Nigeria’s cyber defense mechanisms, might have contributed to the decrease in cyberattacks during the recent elections. He also emphasized that the achievements in Nigeria’s digital economy sector would not have been possible without the unwavering support of the administration.

In his statement, Pantami acknowledged President Muhammadu Buhari’s continued support for the digital economy, saying, “The digital economy sector has enjoyed Mr. President’s unprecedented support, and it is highly appreciated.”

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