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Nigerian Army launches cyber operation to counter Anonymous, others

The exercise is designed to identify, track and counter negative propaganda in social media and across cyberspace.

• October 17, 2020
General-Tukur-Buratai
Photo of Lt General Tukur Yusuf Buratai (Photo Credit: @HQNigerianArmy) Twitter

The Nigerian Army announced on Saturday that a military operation to counter fake news and cyber warfare would commence in the coming days, hours after hacker collective Anonymous targeted its website.

The Army said ‘Operation Crocodile Smile VI’ would commence on October 20 and run through December 31. The military has held the operation since 2016, but this is the first time it would be dedicated to gaming on cyberspace.

“The exercise is deliberately intended to be all encompassing to include cyber warfare exercises designed to identify, track and counter negative propaganda in the social media and across cyberspace,” Army spokesman Sagir Musa said in a statement.

The Army claimed the operation marked the first ever cyber warfare exercise to be conducted in the history of the African Armed Forces. 

Accordingly, the exercise will also include a positive identification component aimed at identifying Boko Haram terrorists fleeing from the North East and other parts of the country as a result of the ongoing operations in the various theatres of operations especially in the northeast, north-central and north western parts of Nigeria, Army said.

Anonymous attacked the Nigerian Army website on Saturday afternoon, knocking it off for several hours as it continues to support Nigeria’s ongoing #EndSARS campaign against police brutality. 

The hacktivists also attacked a host of other websites linked to or run by the Nigerian government, including the NNPC, CBN, EFCC and the presidential website. 

Galaxy Backbone said it has been working to ward off some of the attacks, and urged Nigerian authorities to activate additional measures to prevent a takeover of their online assets by Anonymous and similar groups.

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