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CERRT Issues Warning Regarding DDoS Attack Against Critical National Digital Infrastructures

The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), through its Computer Emergency Readiness and Response Team, has detected activities of a hacktivist group targeting our vital digital infrastructure.

A statement on Wednesday, 2nd August 2023 signed by the NITDA Head of Corporate Affairs and External Relations, Mrs. Hadiza Umar, said that the hacktivist group, known for its politically and religiously motivated cyber campaigns, poses a significant risk to our critical information infrastructure. Their tactics include targeted attacks on government digital services, using various attack types, particularly DDoS attacks, and they have a track record of successful attacks in various countries.

“NITDA hereby alerts the general public to be wary of the occurrence of these attacks which underscores the undeniable and concerning fact that cyber-attacks are not a distant threat but rather a looming danger that resides much closer to us than we may have previously acknowledged. This realization compels us to recognize the urgency of reinforcing our cyber front, fortifying our digital defenses to shield against these malicious intrusions and secure the safety of our critical information and infrastructure.

“The consequences of such cyber-attacks are always severe and may have wide-ranging impacts which include: Disruption of Critical Services, Economic Losses, as well as Public Trust and Reputation Loss.

“To guide against attacks targeted towards Government Institutions and other critical sectors, the National Information Technology Development Agency’s Computer Emergency Readiness and Response Team (NITDA-CERRT) seek to advise all Ministries, Departments, and Agencies, including other providers of critical services in the country to ensure the implementation of measures to prevent against DDOS attacks, such as:
a. Deploying DDoS Monitoring systems to watch out for signs of DDoS attacks.
b. Minimizing the attack surface area thereby limiting the options for attackers and allowing you to build protections in a single place. E.g. obscuring the target, closing unused ports and protocols, hence minimizing possible points of attack.
c. Implementing or subscribing to DDoS protection features, applications, or services to fortify your cyber defenses against disruptive DDoS attacks. e.g. rate limiting, load balancing, traffic filtering, Content Delivery Network (CDN), Web application Firewalls, etc.
d. Ensuring that hosting providers offer abundant redundant Internet connectivity, enabling systems to manage significant volumes of traffic effectively.
e. Configuring network hardware such as a firewall or router to drop incoming ICMP packets or block DNS responses from outside the network (by blocking UDP port 53).

“Furthermore, enhancement of all critical national infrastructure such as financial services providers, telecommunications providers, and relevant government service providers should ensure cyber security readiness and resilience by implementing necessary cyber security measures to safeguard against potential attacks.

“For further inquiries, please contact CERRT.NG through the following channels: E-mail:cerrt@nitda.gov.ng Phone:+2348178774580

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