EFCC: Nigeria no longer safe haven for cybercrimes

Internet

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) says Nigeria is no longer be a safe haven for cybercriminals with the coming into force of the new Nigeria Cybercrimes Act 2015, a series of new laws against Internet crimes.

EFCC, the nation’s anti-graft agency, says it is giving full backing to the new momentum the law has triggered in enforcing and winning the war against cybercrimes and related offences in Nigeria.

The new Nigeria Cybercrimes Act 2015, which was signed into law May 15, this year by ex-President Goodluck Jonathan will enable the law enforcement agency to bring its entire weapon at its disposal to save the nation billions of naira being lost to cybercriminals every year.

“The biggest threats Nigerians face on the Internet are phishing, which are targeting mostly local banks and their clients; unauthorized access to systems and the information they contain by insiders, service providers or consultants; and malware distribution such as software and hardware key-loggers.”

Mrs Chinwe Ndubueze, Assisant Director, Legal of EFCC dropped this hint Tuesday at the Information Security Society of Africa-Nigeria (ISAAN) Stakeholder Forum on Cyber Crime noting that impact of the new law will assist in sanitizing the Nigeria’s regions of cyberspace already riddled with a web of frauds and malpractices.

Mrs Ndubueze told the forum that EFCC had been at the forefront of Nigeria’s anti-cybercrime war, ahead of the coming of the new law, which will further strengthen its resolve to make cyberspace safer for the Nigerian Internet community.

“EFCC investigates and takes proactive measures to help prevent cybercrime”, according to the EFCC exec who says that the process includes gathering evidence, conducting painstaking investigations, arrests, seizure of assets, diligent prosecution and education of the general public.

According to her, “EFCC has recorded a giant strides in the enforcement of these laws (cybercrime) as evidenced by the increased arrest, prosecution and conviction of Internet fraud related offences recorded monthly.”

The Assistant Director, Legal of EFCC adds that, “we must collaborate to at least survive the onslaught and then fight back from the position of strength conferred by pooled resources, shared intelligence, joint operations and other efforts such as this.”

However, she advises people to be wary of unsolicited mails, adding that opening unsolicited mails could reveal vital information to criminals.
The EFCC exec further discloses that cybercrime was fast overtaking conventional crimes like kidnapping, armed robbery, among others, assuring that the commission was fully committed to fighting the ugly development.
According to her, the biggest threats Nigerians face on the Internet are phishing, which are targeting mostly local banks and their clients; unauthorized access to systems and the information they contain by insiders, service providers or consultants; and malware distribution such as software and hardware key-loggers.

“There is no doubt the growth in the use of electronic banking systems and e-commerce has brought about a parallel increase in efforts to defraud both individuals and corporate organizations, and thus cause tremendous financial loss”, the EFCC top brass told the Information Security Society of Africa-Nigeria (ISAAN) forum.

“For sure, it is no longer business as usual for cybercriminals. From the petty criminals operating in cybercafés to the major hackers, email scammers and other computer-based fraudsters, the law stipulates heavy penalties, which the criminals should be made aware of before they embark on their ‘suicide’ mission”
Dr David Isiavwe, President of Information Security Society of Africa-Nigeria (ISAAN)ISSAN

ISAAN, the organiser of the event says it has flag off a campaign to embark on a massive public enlightenment on the new cyberlaw to prevent Nigerians from falling victim to cybercriminals and help discourage people from indulging in cybercrimes to avoid stiff sanctions.

“The objective of this event is to enlighten Nigerians on its implication so that individuals corporate bodies and the public at large will be duly informed on how they can utilize the provisions to regulate their online activities while protecting themselves from cybercriminals and fraudster”, Dr. David Isiavwe ISSAN President told attendees at the stakeholder meeting at the Victoria Crown Plaza in Lagos.

While commending ex-President Goodluck Jonathan for signing the bill on cybercrime into law, he also said that cyberspace is the future of the country, hence it needs to be protected.

“With the law now in place, it would no longer be business as usual for criminals whose business was to defraud innocent people of their hard-earned money and resources through the Internet and other electronic means”, he adds.

The ISSAN President expressed delight that Nigeria has joined the few countries in Africa and indeed the world at large that have a law which provides effective, unified and comprehensive legal, regulatory and institutional framework for the prohibition, detection, prosecution and punishment of cybercrime in the country.
“It will also ensure the protection of computer systems and networks, electronic communications, data and computer programmers’, intellectual property and piracy rights,” Isiavwe says adding that, “ISSAN has, in the last few years, championed the call for an appropriate law and regulations to save Nigerians from cyber criminals who are increasing by the day in the country. It is indeed gratifying to note that this law is now in place.”

In his presentation, he gave a brief statistics of the colossal damage the cyber crime has caused us as a nation and the world at large. In 2009 Nigeria was ranked 3rd in global Internet crime by Internet Crime Corporate Center (ICCC).
In 2009 Central Bank of Nigeria says 70 percent of attempted and successful crime in the banking space is by electronic channel. In 2011 Nigeria was ranked 10th in cyber related offence by Internet Crime Corporate Center (ICCC)

“For sure, it is no longer business as usual for cybercriminals. From the petty criminals operating in cybercafés to the major hackers, email scammers and other computer-based fraudsters, the law stipulates heavy penalties, which the criminals should be made aware of before they embark on their ‘suicide’ mission,” he adds.

According to the ISSAN President, “the new law will help individuals to know their rights as well as the appropriate use of their computer systems and the need to protect themselves against the activities of fraudsters in electronic communications.”

He adds that ISSAN will also collaborate with relevant stakeholders to create the needed awareness by all and sundry until Nigeria successfully reduces the activities of cybercriminals to the barest minimum.

“With the cybercrime law now fully in place and with proper awareness now being created by ISSAN, Nigerians need not lose their hard-earned money and resources to criminals through the Internet and other electronic means. The promulgation of the Cybercrime Act has also provided another opportunity for us in ISSAN to further draw attention to the activities of the online criminals, which are on the increase in the country.”
Source: Technology Times  27 August 2015