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Cyber-attacks more than quadruple in Ethiopia: intelligence agency

Ethiopia has recorded more than 5,000 cyber-attack attempts during the 2021/2022 fiscal year, a record high, report says. PHOTO | FILE

By TESFA-ALEM TEKLE

Ethiopia has recorded more than 5,000 cyber-attack attempts during the 2021/2022 fiscal year, registering a record high of such attacks.

“A total of 5,586 cyber-attacks were carried out during the last nine months,” The Ethiopian Information Network Security Agency (INSA) said on Saturday while presenting its nine-month performance report to the Ethiopian parliament.

The report revealed that the cyber-attack attempts in the last nine months have more than quadrupled compared to attacks recorded during the same period in the last fiscal year.

The intelligence agency alleged that most of the cyber-attacks targeting Ethiopia were thwarted before they could cause any significant harm.

“More than 97 per cent of the total cyber-attacks were foiled,” the agency added.

According to the INSA report, the cyber-attacks had targeted financial institutions and mega projects, including Ethiopia Grand Renaissance Dam (GERD), which downstream countries, particularly Egypt and Sudan, fear will eventually diminish their historic water shares from the Nile River.

Government ministries, regional bureaus, academic institutions and media houses were also targets for hackers, according to INSA.

The agency’s report primarily holds responsible countries who were against the construction of the Nile dam for the cyber-attacks. 

The report, however, does not name the implicated countries.

The report also blamed external forces backing Tigrayan fighters, who were battling the government and allied forces, for some of the cyber-attacks.

Last week, the agency said the cyber-attacks aim to sabotage the successful construction of the Ethiopian dam which is being built along the Nile River near the Sudanese border.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has been engaged in an ambitious drive to introduce cyber technology as a key component in upgrading the country’s largely traditional basic services infrastructure.

The report shows that this is a record high number of cyber-attacks since Abiy, who was previously head of INSA, assumed office as prime Minister in 2018.

Source: The EastAfrican

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