The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has dismissed reports that its website was hacked by the hacker group, Anonymous. The apex bank, which stated this via its official Twitter handle in the early hours of Saturday, assured members of the public that there was no cause for alarm and it would do everything within its statutory power to protect its proprietary data from being breached.
Advising members of the public to ignore the rumours, the CBN said such false claims were aimed at undermining its credibility. There were speculations in some quarters yesterday that the CBN might have fallen victim to the activities of Anonymous when the regulator’s website was temporarily off the grid on Friday night, leaving many to suspect that it might have been hacked.
Anonymous, an international hackers group, prominent for hacking repressive government’s website, had earlier claimed via its Twitter handle, that it breached some Nigerian government websites. It said the action is said to be in support of the ongoing protests against police brutality (#EndSARS) across the country.
The group has carried out similar coordinated attacks in the United States, Israel, Tunisia, Uganda and some other countries. Its motto is simply “we are anonymous.”
A prominent online newspaper had reported how the official website of the Nigeria Police Force was infiltrated after the group hacked into its database on Thursday.
According to the news outlet, the group released documents containing names, addresses, contacts and account details of hundreds of police officers on a text storage website, pastebin.com. On Friday, the hackers announced that they had gained access to the Twitter account of the National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) via the victimagency’s account.
They also posted #EndSARS protest materials on the agency’s twitter timeline. The group is also believed to have hacked the websites of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), but later restored them. Although the CBN has denied that its website was hacked, Anonymous, in an update posted via a member-account on Twitter claimed the attack is ongoing despite the fact that the CBN has activated “Under attack mode” to prevent infiltration.
“The Nigerian central bank website has now activated the ‘Under attack mode’ to avoid our attacks. The website is still being attacked and is down. If the site seems online sometimes, its just an offline version of the site offered by Cloudflare. The server is down,” the group said.
Meanwhile, there were indications yesterday that the group may have also attacked the website of First Bank of Nigeria Limited. In a series of tweets, Anonymous claimed to have brought down the bank’s website while accusing the lender of instructing its staff not to join the #EndSARS campaign. Anonymous, however, said it would restore the website after it “keep it down for some time”.