May 30, 2023

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Air Defense: ASECNA website hacked by group of Lockbit hackers

#In other countries : A hacker group called Lockbit has encrypted the digital data of the Air Navigation Security Agency in Africa (ASECNA) and is threatening to release them on the dark web unless a ransom of $25,000 is paid to them by 30 September 2022.

A new cyber attack has been launched this time against the Agency for Air Navigation Security in Africa and Madagascar (ASECNA). The Lockbit hackers group, already the author of an attack against Malian tax authorities, has encrypted data from the 18-member agency and is threatening to publish it on the dark web if a $25,000 ransom is not paid before September 30. , 2022.

The case is said to be taken very seriously by authorities in Senegal, where ASECNA is headquartered. But is it really realistic to hope that the response will be in the direction of the hackers’ demand, i.e. paying the demanded ransom? Or wait until the end of the month to see what Lockbit will do. The challenge is open.

Recovery note released by Lockbit
© Copyright : DR

This latest cyber attack reminds us once again that our authorities really need to take this issue seriously. Clement Domingo, ethical hacker and co-founder of Hackers Without Borders, suggested last August that “a lot more education needs to be done towards the population.” According to him, there is a “glaring lack of knowledge on all issues related to cyber security and cybercrime”.

>>> Read More: Malian tax officials were attacked by Russian hackers, and the worst was yet to come.

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Nicknamed “SaxX”, he was thus called to “special meetings (…) to narrow it all down and prepare and prepare an adequate response”. The hacking expert proposed, among others, the creation of a CERT (Computer Emergency Response Team) or CSIRT (Computer Security Incident Response Team) to counter cyber attacks that are “more and more regular in Africa”. Responsible for responding to computer security incidents.

We have known for a long time that Africa, especially sub-Saharan Africa, lags far behind in computer security. We wonder if the “rarity” of cyber-attacks against our companies and institutions is not due to a certain “pity” of hackers, who want to attack the big fish. Regions of the world.

According to Interpol, Africa has more than 500 million internet users, more than regions like South America or the Middle East. Our continent is the favorite playground of many cybercriminals who “specialize” in online scams or money transfer via mobile or video blackmail (sextortion). In statistics, the economic losses associated with this type of cybercrime are estimated at 4 billion dollars per year for African countries.

>>> Read More: South Africa: Worryingly, State Security Minister’s Phone “Hacked”

As for cyber-attacks, they represent a small fraction of cybercriminal acts committed on our continent. In Côte d’Ivoire, for example, “attacks on pure information systems” represent less than 5% of cybercrime acts, according to Colonel Guelbetsin Otara, head of the fight against cybercrime in this country. We see similar percentages in other parts of the continent.

Many countries in sub-Saharan Africa are particularly vulnerable to cyber attacks. And yet, we’ve already experienced cyber attacks. Among others, we can cite the cyber attack in Liberia in 2016 that caused a small disruption of the entire Internet, or the leak of documents related to more than 312,000 Malian taxpayers targeting the Malian tax authorities last June. Dark web.

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Africa must wake up soon.