Saturday, September 18, 2021

We blocked #EndSARS hackers from breaching govt, military websites: DSA

The amorphous hit squad took down several important government websites, in solidarity with victims of police brutality.

• March 31, 2021
A hacker on a computer used to illustrate the story.
A hacker on a computer used to illustrate the story.

The Defence Space Administration (DSA), says it was able to prevent hacker collective, Anonymous, from downing government and military websites through the use of superior expertise.

Rear Admiral William Kayoda, Chief of Defence Space Administration (CDSA), said this when members of the Senate Committee on Defence led by the chairman Senator Aliyu Wamakko visited the agency on oversight.

In the heat of the historic #EndSARS protests, the hacker collective launched a series of attacks on government’s cyber facilities across Nigeria after warning President Buhari to heed the demands of oppressed Nigerians.

The amorphous hit squad, in what it termed “Operation Nigeria”, took down several important government websites including those of the Central Bank, Nigerian Police, electoral body, INEC and anti-graft agency, EFCC, rendering them inaccessible for hours before government handlers fought to restore control.

Mr Kayoda who noted that the cyber centre was doing a lot in ensuring cyber security said “In fact during the “EndSARS protest, we were coming to work even on Saturdays and Sundays.

“Most of the government websites that the #EndSARS attempted to pull down, we were actually monitoring and we made sure that they did not deactivate them.

“We kept them active, especially the military websites. We got a commendation for that from the Office of the National Security Adviser,” he said.

He said that Nigerians should expect a lot of activities in the defence of the country’s space to track movements and hideouts of terrorists and bandits in North-West and North-Central.

Mr Kayoda expressed optimism that the Armed Forces would win the war against terrorism; pointing out that the agency was rock solid towards providing space surveillance intelligence and tactics required to prosecute the war.

Responding to questions from the senators, he decried paucity of funds at the organisation, which he said had greatly limited its operations.

“We really require a lot of funding to quickly attack these issues from multiple angles.

“The situation on ground regarding overhead has not changed. We complained bitterly about the issue of overhead.

“We get N180 million per annum; N15 million per month. From the N15 million, we pay an average of N2.7 million monthly on electricity bill alone.

“We pay N6 million per subscription for the cyber centre. We really need our overhead to be improved,” he said.

In his remarks, Mr Wamakko said the committee was at the agency on an oversight visit with a view to addressing its constraints.

(NAN)

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