Pro-Nigerien hackers, Anonymous Sudan, tried to shut down MTN Nigeria’s network, to protest Nigeria’s stance on the coup in the Republic of Niger.
A credible source in the telecommunication firm, who spoke to our correspondent on Thursday, that the hackers tried to access MTN’s network many times but failed.
Anonymous Sudan, a hacktivist group, had on Wednesday claimed it had launched a cyberattack against MTN Nigeria.
The group claimed that its attack was because of Nigeria’s proposed military intervention in Niger.
In a statement on its Telegram channel, it said, “We claim full responsibility for this attack because of Nigeria’s government actions against Niger.
“They are attempting to cut power and are willing to participate in the French colonialistic planned invasion of Niger.”
Commenting on the claim of the attack, the source said, “It is true, but they didn’t successfully hack us. They attempted to. They said it was because of Nigeria’s stance against Niger Republic; that it was their way of getting back and they are trying to shut down the network in Nigeria.
“They made several attempts but the firewalls around our system are massive. To take it down, you would need to do a lot. There were one or two glitches, but it didn’t affect us. They tried it yesterday (Wednesday).”
The source stressed that MTN would continue to invest in its cybersecurity system and boost its firewalls.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday, the National Information Technology Development Agency, through its Computer Emergency Readiness and Response Team, also issued a warning that it had detected hacking activities targeted at government digital services.
It said, “The hacktivist group, known for its politically and religiously motivated cyber campaigns, poses a significant risk to our critical information infrastructure.”
The agency advised financial service providers, telecommunication providers, and relevant government service providers to be cybersecurity ready.
Meanwhile, the British embassy has announced plans to reduce its staff numbers in Niger, while the United States has ordered the evacuation of some staff and families from its embassy in the country.
According to Britain’s foreign ministry, the embassy is reducing its staff strength because of the security situation in the country.
It said, “There has been a military takeover in Niger, which has led to protests and unrest. The group that organised the demonstration on 30 July (M62) has called for another on Thursday, Aug. 3, Niger Independence Day.
“Protests can be violent, and the situation could change quickly without warning.”
According to the US State Department, its mission in Niger will remain open and senior leadership will continue working from there.
However, State Department spokesperson, Matthew Miller, in a statement, announced that the US had ordered the temporary departure of non-emergency US government personnel and others from Niger.
He said, “Given ongoing developments in Niger and out of an abundance of caution, the Department of State is ordering the temporary departure of non-emergency U.S. government personnel and eligible family members from the U.S. Embassy in Niamey.
“The United States remains committed to our relationship with the people of Niger and to Nigerien democracy. We remain diplomatically engaged at the highest levels.”