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Nigeria: Fight Against Cybercrime, Legislation As Rescue

Nigeria: Fight Against Cybercrime, Legislation As Rescue
Nigeria: Fight Against Cybercrime, Legislation As Rescue 

Gboyega Akinsanmi
April 13, 2006

A computer crime as well as cyber survey conducted recently indicated
that Nigeria is the most internet fraudulent country in Africa.  
Besides, the same report further stated that the giant of Africa is
ranked third among others identified with cyber fraud and computer
crime in the world.

The report contained in a global computer crime and security survey
brought stakeholders in Information and Communication Technology (ICT)  
in Nigeria together at Heinrich Boll Foundation (HBF) Conference Hall
to discuss how to facilitate information security, reduce security
breaches, and steps to contain cyber crime in Africa.

Dr. Martins Ikpehai, chief executive officer, Computer Audit and
Security Associates Ltd, Lagos heightened tension of the participants
when he disclosed that the third world war might be fought on the
computer considering how different attacks were being launched through

Ikpehai, expressing concerns on how terrorists have been distorting
information on internet, said internet facility has recently become an
instrument of terrorism. He reiterated that the third world war might
be fought on computers as terrorist groups like Al Queada have been
taking advantages of internet facilities to launch attacks and

This development, he stressed, has called for concerted efforts among
stakeholders, civil society groups, corporate bodies and government
institutions to join forces together to rid the continent of the
imminent terrorist attacks through the use of information technology.

"Law enforcement agencies such as Economic and Financial Commission
(EFCC), Independent Corrupt Practice and other related offences
Commission (ICPC), State Security Service (SSS), the Nigeria Police
among others play prominent roles in the fight against the new trend
of social vice.

"Computer security and cyber crime awareness should be created with a
view to sensitising all users of the internet facility with the
emerging indicators of crime and fraud being committed through

"Need now arises to the surviving mega banks, oil multinationals,
business conglomerates and communication firms from untold sorrow
which the cyber criminals have resolved to inflict on most businesses"  
he said.

All participants at the three-day conference agreed in various papers
presented that the law enforcement agencies and judiciary in the
continent have roles to play in devising ways of curbing internet
fraud and enhancing their skills in computer security and risk

Participants at the conference, upholding the standpoint of the
internet group's president, unanimously stated that the diplomats,
international legal practitioners and international institutions have
roles to play in ensuring that legal provisions at the international

Sensitising them with the effort by the internet group to outlaw the
practice, Ajayi said the group had sponsored Computer Security and
Cybercrime Bill in the National Assembly, and that its passage would
mark the beginning of the war against internet crime in the country.

He explained that "it is not enough to ensure that the bill is passed.  
But there is also need to create a centre where the victims of
security breaches can lodge complaints. The Nigeria Internet Group has
set up Cybercrime and Security Support Centre mainly to serve this

Messer Bankole Olubamise, the executive director, Development
Information Network (DevNet) said the security breaches has become so
rife and frequent that it required concerted efforts of stakeholders
in the industry to bring an end to computer crime in the country.

He said: "variants of cybercrime include unauthorised access, theft of
proprietary info, denial of service, inside net abuse, financial
fraud, misuse of public web application system penetration, laptop
theft, and abuse of wireless network, sabotage telecom fraud and web
site defacement.

"There is need to devise means to stop perpetrators of internet crime.  
There is need to secure the present global village, mega businesses
and the posterity from the protracted evil of cyber crime without
delay," he said.

Olubamise, drawing inferences from the 2005 Computer Crime and
Security Survey conducted by the CSI and FBI, said it was necessary
for information stakeholders to conduct survey and research with a
view to containing cyber-related crimes and computer security

Worried by challenges that face African countries, Mr. Jide Awe, who
presented paper on Building Global Competitiveness through Computer
Security Education, Awareness, Training and Certification, said lack
of understanding, education, training, unclear policies of government,
insufficient information security and low confidence exhibited in
Africa's e-business.

He charged the information security expertise in the continent to
identify threats to computer security, protect both internal and
external threats, and human error has been a major threat to cyber
security which need be addressed with care and skill acquisition and

Giving more insights on how such crimes can contained, Awe said since
survey indicated that human action contributed more to security
failure than technological weaknesses, more people need be educated to
understand security threats, vulnerabilities and other breaches.

Participants from different African countries resolved to establish
African Information Security Association (AISA) at the end of the
conference with a view to promoting knowledge and creating awareness
about computer security and cybercrime on the continent.

It was resolved in a communiqu=E9 that AISA would serve to promote
global best practices in information, computer and internet security,
campaign against cybercrime, conduct annual survey on information
security, promote legislation and regulations and create linkages and
networks in Africa.

Copyright =A9 2006 This Day. All rights reserved.

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