Just Before The ‘Nigerian Annonymous’ Blossoms.

A few days ago, it was reported that the website of the NDDC, a Nigerian Federal Parastatal was hacked by the NaijaCyberHactivists. The site was taken down, restored, rehacked and then taken down. This is the second Parastatal that is getting is this treatment. The first was the website of the National Assembly. Their grudge with the government then and now is the excessive amount of money used for the celebration of events when a lot of basic issues are yet to be addressed by the government.

This time around, the have gone further; they have threatened to cripple financial systems in the Country.

At first I wanted to dismiss their threat since I question their present capability carry out attacks on bigger targets like financial institutions. Taking down a website is quite easy, a bit of Googling can show you how to ‘hack’ any CMS site.

Then I remembered the wise words of my forefathers

“Na from clap na’im dance dey start”. (Meaning: big things start small)

A bit of history.

When the militants of the Niger Delta Areas of Nigeria began agitating, they were dismissed as common criminals. I warned that if not curtailed and nipped in the bud by looking into their demands, it would go out of control. Well, the ‘amateur militants’ showed will, international illegal oil ‘bunkerers’ showed the way and we started seeing highly trained and equipped young men comfortably holding the government to ransom. It is said the militants, got weapons and training in exchange for access to cheap crude oil.

Money became involved and quite a large percentage of the ‘freedom fighters’ became wealthy and powerful criminals.

The country is still paying for being slow to respond to the threats properly

Back to the present.

If things are not properly handled, this is what will happen.

The hackers might not have the capability to wreck havoc on Nigeria’s financial and telecoms infrastructure presently, but they are one URL or IRC chat room away from learning the way. Hackers can get support across borders. It only takes the NaijaCyberhactivists’s getting the attention/support of a powerful group online and we would be fighting a much tougher battle. Money will be made and a few will lose sight of their stated goal of keeping government in check etc. It will be harder to curtail. Much harder.

Nigeria’s Internet economy is growing and we do not need unwarranted security challenges so early, especially when we are still trying to get people to make payments online. A high security breach on financial institutions will erode confidence in the system. Not good.

So how do we move forward?

I might not be so sure about how to proceed, but I am definitely sure how not to proceed. Legislating or bullying your way out. Do not get me wrong, the technology sector needs a bit of regulation, to protect consumer from businesses e.t.c but not as a response to hackers fighting for a cause especially one which has public sympathy. Ask SONY what happened when they attacked one of ‘their own’

I dare say that the people behind this are unemployed and are truly unhappy with the system. They have the hunger and drive to tackle challenges technically. If you leave such hands idle, they will come back to fight the system they believe is responsible for their plight.

Even though anonymous, they can me engaged, employed and redirected towards more constructive things like building or working for companies. (Assuming the government is ready to tackle the problems they are raising) .

The federal government has to take science and technology serious. Agencies like NIRA, NITDA and co need to be overhauled. They have failed continuously in harnessing our IT brains. (I will speak on NIRA at a later time)

It would be extremely pathetic if our brightest ‘hackers’ grow up as outlaws. Let us nip it early.

Of course, those close the Presidency/government are already submitting their IT security proposals. Thats cool, but if the long term and core issues are not taken care of as I have outlined above, it would be bas for us all.


While I was writing this post I learned that the National Assembly site was hacked again. see screenshot


It would be nice if I can get them to respond.


PS: pardon spelling errors. I just don’t see them. If it is any consolation I had C6 in English. if it is just too bad, let me know in the comments and I will correct them.


Hypocrisy is the state of pretending to have beliefs, opinions, virtues, feelings, qualities, or standards that one does not actually have.

If you do not have the balls to do what you think is right at the time whet it really means something, please just shut up, when it becomes convenient.

It is just disgusting.

Why I Think Gladwell is Right.

Techcrunch published a post highlighting yet another bunch slamming Malcolm Gladwell for pointing out again how inconsequential social media is when it comesto fuelling and sustaining social activism.

Let’s examine recent events in North Africa.

Tunisia’s revolution was over before CNN (and other western media outlets) got the chance to report YET another African disaster.  Determined to redeem their revolution credibility (RevCred), they stormed Egypt with their cameras and Anderson Cooper became a ‘hero’.

14 days later, Mubarak is still president and the outside world appears not to be so enthralled with 24-hour news channels coverage of Egypt; disappointed that their ReTweets have not pushed out Mubarak. We are so bored that there is no trace of the Egypt’s revolution on twitter’s trending topics.

What we fail to understand is that the people on the ground – the people affected by the Mubaraks – are not twits. They the guys and girls on the streets; the 94% of the population not on Facebookthat experience real hopeless and oppression.

I fully concede that social media toolswill have a big role to play in some cases. e.g the upcoming Nigerian elections. But when its comes down to putting your life on the line – that is giving your life for the change that needs to happen in one’s country – the real fuel will be the people in the streets.

Not Facebook. Not Twitter.

NB: One could even argue that the Internet slowed down the momentum of the revolt or how else can you explain that the most intense part of the protests took place when the Internet was cut off (people had to leave their homes) and slowed down around the time the Internet was restored?

Thanks to Uzo for helping me edit this post.

How to Salvage #INECRegistration.

The time allocated for the registration of voters (in Nigeria)  is supposed to end this weekend. If it does, it will be a disaster because millions of people would not have registered. If that happens then the election is as good as the one done in 2007. Although I have my reservations about  some things done so far, I will leave that for later and list out things that should be done to salvage this voters registration drive.

  1. Voters registration will have to be extended by another week. There were a lot of hiccups at the beginning and that time would have to be got from somewhere.
  2. 2-3 days of public holidays will have to be declared in the extra week to ensure people have the time to stay at home (where they will vote) and register. Before you shout, far less important things have led to the declaration of holidays. I do believe a week of public holidays is not too much to sacrifice for the future of Nigeria. besides it will not be done at the scale ever again. so they say.
  3. Registration days have to be lengthened: I hear registration closes by 3 on Sunday. I think having registrations until 8pm is not too much to ask for at these last days especially in greatly populated areas.
  4. A queuing system would have to be deployed. I went to vote yesterday morning and was told i would have to return the next day as too many people were before me. The problem is, what time do I return? I should be sent a test approximately 30 minutes before it is my turn. A lot of people have very limited free periods so it will be appreciated if their times are optimized. secondly, a queuing system will allow INEC to know how many people are yet to register. “text your name to 1960 if you are yet to register”

If some of these things are not done, we will see queues of 300 people in the last hour of the last day (Naija style) turned back?

Please, if you have not registered pleas do. I have that very sweet feeling that this is the time, I promise you will not want to be left out.