Security agencies in Nigeria have been placed on high alerts and are studying a Ransomware cyber-infection that has affected computer devices of organisations in about 99 countries.
A source at the Presidency told The Nigerian that the government is not taking an chances in ensuring that the country’s cyber space is secured.
“everything is being done to avoid any surprises. The minister of communication is aware of the priority and is not leaving any stone unturned,” the source said.
Ransomware is a computer virus that installs discreetly on a victim’s device, holding his data hostage until ransom, which is usually in crypto-currency, is paid. It is cyber-kidnapping.
According to the BBC, a massive cyber-attack using tools believed to have been stolen from the US National Security Agency (NSA) struck organisations around the world this week.
The broadcaster reported that cyber-security firm Avast said it had seen 75,000 cases of the ransomware – known as WannaCry and variants of that name – around the world.
There are reports of infections in 99 countries, including Russia and China.
Among the worst hit was the National Health Service (NHS) in England and Scotland.
Nigeria is vulnerable to cyber-attacks.
At a cyber-security, technology optimisation and development conference in Abuja in November 2016, Adebayo Shittu, minister of communication, disclosed that the country lost over $450m to cyber-attacks in 2015.
He said Nigeria witnessed 3, 500 of such attacks in that year alone.