Air safety: the ASECNA website hacked by the group of Lockbit hackers

#Other countries : The hacker group Lockbit has encrypted the digital data of the Agency for the Security of Air Navigation in Africa (ASECNA) and threatens to publish them on the dark web if a ransom of 25,000 dollars is not paid to them before the 30 September 2022.

A new cyberattack has just been perpetrated, this time against… the Agency for Air Navigation Security (ah good?) in Africa and Madagascar (ASECNA). The group of Lockbit hackers, already author of the attack against the Malian tax authorities, encrypted the data of the agency which has 18 member countries and threatens to publish them on the dark web if a ransom of 25,000 dollars is not paid. before September 30, 2022.

The case is said to be taken very seriously by the authorities in Senegal, where ASECNA has its headquarters. But would it really be realistic to hope for a response going in the direction of the hackers’ demands, that is to say paying the requested ransom? Or should we wait until the end of the month to see what Lockbit will do. The bets are open.


The ransom note released by Lockbit
© Copyright: DR

The new cyberattack reminds us, once again, that our authorities really have to take this issue seriously. “There is still a lot of pedagogy to be carried out towards the populations” had recommended last August Clément Domingo, ethical hacker and co-founder of “Hackers Without Borders”. According to him, there is also “a flagrant lack of knowledge regarding all issues of cybersecurity and cybercrime”.

>>> READ ALSO: The Malian tax authorities attacked by Russian hackers, and the worst is yet to come…

The one nicknamed “SaxX”, thus called for “special meetings (…) to better demystify all this, to prepare and prepare an adequate response”. And in the face of cyberattacks which “will be more and more regular in Africa”, the hacking expert had proposed, among other things, the creation of CERT (Computer Emergency Response Team) or CSIRT (Computer Security Incident Response Team), either teams in charge of responding to IT security incidents.

We have known for a very long time that Africa, especially the sub-Saharan part, is very behind in terms of computer security. We are even wondering if the “rarity” of cyberattacks against our institutions and organizations is not due to a certain “pity” of hackers, who prefer to attack bigger fish that are more “challenging”, more exciting. and more motivating, in other regions of the world.

According to Interpol, Africa has more than 500 million Internet users, more than regions like South America or the Middle East. Our continent is thus the favorite playground of many cybercriminals, who “specialize” more in online scams or money transfers via mobile, or even video blackmail (sextortion). In figures, the economic losses linked to these types of cybercrimes are estimated at 4 billion dollars per year for African countries.

>>> READ ALSO: South Africa: worrying, the phone of the Minister of State Security “hacked”

As for cyberattacks, they represent a small part of the cybercriminal acts committed on our continent. In Côte d’Ivoire, for example, “attacks on pure information systems” represent less than 5% of cybercrime acts, according to Colonel Guelpetchin Ouattara, head of the fight against cybercrime in this country. And we find similar percentages in the rest of the continent.

Many countries in sub-Saharan Africa are thus poorly equipped against cyberattacks. And yet, we have already had cyberattacks. We can cite, among others, the cyberattack which caused a brief interruption of the entire Internet in Liberia in 2016, or the one which targeted the Malian tax authorities last June, and which resulted in the leak of documents concerning more than 312,000 Malian taxpayers on the dark web.

Africa must wake up and quickly.

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