#other countries Hacker group Lockbit has encrypted ASECNA’s digital data and is threatening to publish it on the dark web if a $25,000 ransom is not paid before September 30, 2022.
The authorities are said to be taking the case seriously in Senegal, where Asicna is based. But would it be realistic to hope for a response that would go in the direction of the hackers’ demands, i.e. pay the required ransom? Or we should wait until the end of the month to see what Lockbit does. Bets are open.
The ransom note issued by Lockbit
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The new cyber attack reminds us, once again, that our authorities must take this problem seriously. “There is still a lot of teaching to do toward the population,” recommended Clement Domingo, ethical hacker and co-founder of Hackers Without Borders last August. According to him, there is also a “blatant lack of knowledge regarding all cybersecurity and cybercrime issues”.
The person nicknamed “SaxX” called for “private meetings (…) to better demystify all this, to prepare and prepare an appropriate response.” In the face of cyber attacks that “will be more and more regular in Africa,” the hacking expert suggested, among other things, the creation of CERT (Computer Emergency Response Team) or CSIRT (Computer Security Incident Response Team), which of the two teams is responsible for responding to IT security incidents. the information.
We have known for a long time that Africa, especially the sub-Saharan part, is far behind in terms of computer security. We even wonder if the “rarity” of cyber attacks against our institutions and organizations is not due to a certain “pity” of hackers, who prefer attacking big fish that are more “challenging”, more exciting and more stimulating, in other regions of the world.
According to Interpol, Africa has more than 500 million Internet users, more than regions such as South America or the Middle East. Our continent is thus the preferred playground for many cybercriminals, who are more “specializing” in online or mobile money transfer fraud, or even video extortion (sextortion). In numbers, the economic losses associated with these types of cybercrime are estimated at $4 billion annually for African countries.
As for cyber-attacks, they represent a small part of cybercriminal acts committed on our continent. In Côte d’Ivoire, for example, “attacks on pure information systems” account for less than 5% of cybercrime, according to Colonel Gilbechin Ouattara, the country’s head of anti-cybercrime. We find similar proportions in the rest of the continent.
Thus, many countries in Sub-Saharan Africa are ill-equipped to counter cyberattacks. However, we have already been exposed to cyberattacks. We can cite, among other things, the cyberattack that caused a brief outage of the entire internet in Liberia in 2016, or the attack on financial tax authorities last June, which resulted in documents relating to more than 312,000 financial taxpayers being leaked in the dark web.
Africa must wake up quickly.
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