#EndSARS: EFCC admits website was attacked

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Nigeria’s anti-graft agency, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has admitted that its website experienced an attempted cyber-attack over the weekend.

The Anonymous, a group of foreign activists prominent for hacking repressive government’s website, had claimed responsibility for attacking the EFCC website in support on the nationwide #EndSARS protest.

In a series of tweet on Friday evening, Anonymous announced it had taken down the EFCC’s website among other prominent federal government websites and, such as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Independent National Electoral Commission, and others.

Part of the tweet reads, “Official website of @officialEFCC has been taken down in support of #EndSARSProtest. CHECK HOST: https://check-host.net/check-report/df89d3bk838 TARGET: https://efccnigeria.org/efcc/ You should have expected us! #EndCorruptioninNigeria.”

The commission’s website on Friday had shown it was offline due to an internal server error.

The group of anonymous hackers has carried out similar coordinated attacks in the United States, Israel, Tunisia, Uganda, and some other countries. Its motto is simply “we are anonymous.”

PREMIUM TIMES had also reported how the hackers announced that they had gained access to the Twitter account of National Broadcasting Corporation via the victim-agency’s account. They also posted #EndSARS protest materials on the agency’s Twitter timeline.

Similarly, on Friday night, the hackers disclosed the attack on the CBN’s website, saying it is a cyber campaign against the Nigerian government.

In reaction, the EFCC via a statement posted on its Twitter handle, on Monday admitted that the commission experienced a compromise of its website, which was later repelled.

“Though there were attempts, over the weekend, to compromise the website by some cyber criminals, the attacks were successfully repelled. The EFCC website is up and running.

“The EFCC, therefore, urges members of the public to disregard the report, in addition to the one which also claims that the commission’s website had been hacked.

The EFCC also dismissed claims of one of its staff reported to have resigned from the commission in solidarity with the protesters clamouring for the reformation of the Nigerian police.

The commission identified the said person to be a member of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) who had just completed his one year service at the EFCC Port Harcourt zonal office.

“The EFCC wishes to inform the public that Akpan is not a staff of the commission. He merely served as a National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) member in the Port Harcourt zonal office of the commission from November 2019 to October 16, 2020, when he completed his national service.

“He, therefore, could not have resigned from the EFCC to join the #EndSARS Movement.

“The stunt by Akpan is nothing but crass opportunism. And, seeking to achieve his selfish objectives riding on the crest of the popular protests by the youth, clamouring for institutional reform in Nigeria, is a disservice to the #EndSARS movement.”

For the past two weeks, thousands of Nigerian youth have taken to the streets demanding an end to police brutality, disbandment of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Nigerian police and comprehensive police reforms.

The protests have since disrupted activities, with cases of violence in many cities, in Lagos, Osun, and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

However, the federal government has largely conceded to the protesters and has dissolved the police unit and replaced it with a department known as Special Weapons and Tactics Team (SWAT) .

The protests have, however, continued, with many Nigerians calling for a total reform of the police and prosecution of officers involved in the illegal acts as well as the release of arrested protesters with the introduction of new hashtags such as #EndPoliceBrutality, #NassSalaryCut, #EndSWAT, #EndBadGovernanceInNigeriaNow and many more.
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