Anonymous Sudan, a group of pro-Nigeria hackers on Wednesday attempted to shut down MTN Nigeria’s network in order to protest Nigeria’s stance on the coup in the Republic of Niger.
According to a reliable source within the telecommunications company who spoke on Thursday, the hackers attempted to penetrate MTN’s network several times but were unsuccessful.
Correspondingly, the hacktivist organisation, Anonymous Sudan also claimed to have launched a cyberattack against MTN Nigeria.
The group revealed that it carried out the strike in response to Nigeria’s intended military intervention in Niger Republic in a statement posted on its Telegram channel.
The statement reads, “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.”
Speaking on the development, 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.
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“They made several attempts, but our system is protected by massive firewalls.” It would take a lot of effort to bring it down. There were a couple of bugs, but they didn’t harm us. They attempted it on Wednesday.”
According to the source, MTN would continue to invest in its cybersecurity system and strengthen its firewalls.
Meanwhile, the National Information Technology Development Agency issued a warning on Wednesday through its Computer Emergency Readiness and Response Team that it had discovered cyber activity targeting government digital services.
According to the statement, “the hacktivist group, known for its politically and religiously motivated cyber campaigns, poses a significant risk to our critical information infrastructure.”
The agency recommended financial and telecommunications service providers, as well as key government service providers, to be cybersecurity ready.
Meanwhile, the British embassy in Niger has announced preparations to reduce personnel numbers, while the US has ordered the evacuation of certain staff and families from its embassy in the nation.
According to Britain’s foreign ministry, the embassy is cutting its employee strength due to the country’s security situation.
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.”