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‘Money Swallowing’ Snake Becomes Internet Sensation

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Nigerian social media space is buzzing after a local portal reported in Saturday that a government official had blamed a mysterious snake for missing funds of over $100,000, that is some N36 million.

 

The mysterious snake has become one of the most trending topics on social media after it got a Twitter account.

 

The funds belong to Nigeria’s Joints Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), a state agency responsible for the registration of admission of people seeking to enter the various universities.

 

The particular incident took place at the JAMB offices in Makurdi, capital of Benue State where an account’s clerk in answering audit queries said her housemaid and a fellow employee had confessed to using a snake to ‘spiritually’ stealing the monies she kept in an office vault.

 

Auditors from Abuja had been sent to take inventory of funds accrued over the sale of scratch cards to students hoping to gain access to JAMB’s website to register or check on the status of their admissions. The audit came up after reforms by the current registrar struck out use of the cards.

 

Nigerians on social media are looking at different sides of the strange issue. There are those looking at the political, the social, the corrupt, the miraculous and even the fun aspect of the incident. A Twitter user @NigerianSnake says in his bio: “I am the snake that ate N36 million from Jamb office. I will not vomit it.”

Nigeria CommunicationsWeek believes that technology makes life more exciting and helps improve the lives of people around Nigeria and indeed the world. So since 2007, we have devoted our energy to independent reportage of technology and how they affect lives.

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Kaspersky Lab Debuts Advanced Cyber security Platform

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Security giant Kaspersky Lab has introduced Kaspersky Threat Management and Defense, a solution aimed at bringing visibility back to enterprise networks and reducing incident response times.

According to the company, digital transformation is blurring protection perimeters and alerting businesses to complex threats already within their networks.

A recent study called ‘IT Security Risks survey 2017’ conducted by B2B International in conjunction with Kaspersky Lab, revealed that 48% of enterprises believe their organisation may already have been hacked.

“Targeted attacks can penetrate an organisation’s critical systems and stay unnoticed for years, causing irreparable damage in the process. Separate symptoms can be misleading and only an all-around examination provides an accurate diagnosis,” the company says.

Alessio Aceti, head of the Enterprise Business division at Kaspersky Lab, says as the war against sophisticated and well-funded hackers and cyber criminals rages on, enterprises need an integrated approach to complex threat detection and response.

The new solution employs a set of technologies for the detection of previously unknown threats and targeted attacks, correlating different indicators of compromise in the network that are likely connected to a single operation, to help businesses discover even the most complex attacks, Kaspersky adds.

The product also makes use of machine learning threat analysis and correlation algorithms, advanced sandbox technology and network traffic analysis, aimed at improving accuracy of detection.

The slower a business responds to an attack, the more devastating the consequences, and the more expensive it is for the organisation to recover.

“Enterprises have to change how they react. Kaspersky EDR, a feature of the new platform, allows companies to speed up their incident response process and improve the quality of cyber security incident investigation.”

Moreover, Kaspersky EDR brings increased visibility through the aggregation and visualisation of key digital forensics data collected from endpoints – which will be available irrespective of the techniques attackers use to try and obfuscate their tracks.

“Full visibility and accurate detection are only two parts of the battle. The nature of targeted attacks means attackers will come back with new tools and techniques. If an emergency occurs, the cyber security team might need a trusted partner with the relevant skills and experience,” says Kaspersky.

For this reason, the company has also included several rapid incident recovery tools into its platform, that handle the proactive assessment and rectifying of damage, as well as a full, outsourced threat hunting service.

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Early Detection, Rapid Response Critical for Targeted Attack Remediation

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Anton Jacobsz, managing director at Networks Unlimited

In combatting a targeted attack on your network, early detection and rapid response are both critical.

 

Cyber security experts accept the strong possibility that criminals will be able to enter their network at some or other point, and in this context, the issue becomes less about being able to keep them out, and more about detecting them and taking remedial action as soon as their presence is discovered.

 

This is according to a recent report from global cybersecurity company RSA.

 

Anton Jacobsz, managing director at value-added distributor, Networks Unlimited, which distributes RSA products and solutions in Africa, commented, “The report from RSA Incident Response Services notes that, once detected, rapid response is needed to mitigate the potential damage and prevent them from achieving their objectives. RSA’s Advanced Cyber Defense (ACD) services for Incident Response enable organisations to prepare for security incidents without having to accept the inevitability of loss.”

 

The report outlines the comprehensive forensic analysis framework in the RSA approach to threat response and mitigation, noting that the response process ‘…takes into consideration data from multiple sources including in-house systems, open source research, “RSA Live” threat intelligence and the customer’s threat intelligence sources.’

 

The approach taken includes network analysis, using host forensics, harvesting threat intelligence and malware analysis, as follows:

  • Network analysis: Data from packets and logs collected by RSA NetWitness is used to identify suspicious or risky communications.
  • Host forensics: Executables, files and libraries are used to identify unauthorised services and processes deployed by the attacker and running on end points.
  • Threat intelligence: Research is conducted to gain insights about the attack infrastructure, tools and techniques, which is particularly helpful in gaining insight about threat actors that are persistently targeting the  organisation.
  • Malware analysis: Malware tends to be relatively small in terms of file size, which helps the attackers to avoid detection. Malware analysis allows an incident response team to develop blocking techniques and make the organisation more resilient.

 

Jacobsz concludes, “Attackers do leave clues to their presence and analytic intelligence, as offered by RSA, is key in being able to offer early detection and rapid response. Ongoing analysis and threat intelligence further allows an organisation to bolster its defences into the future.”

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MDXi’s Investment to Hit N12.2Bn

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Gbenga Adegbiji, General Manager, MDXi

MDXi has announced plans to inject fresh N2.5 billion investments to strengthen its operations in Nigeria, raising its investment stake from N10.7 billion in phase one to N12.2 billion in the current phase two. This fresh investment will enhance and raise its capacity in local data hosting from 300 to 600 racks.

Gbenga Adegbiji, General Manager, MDXi, made the disclosure during a media tour of the MDXi Data Centre facilities in Lagos recently, said the need for expansion was based on customer’s demand, having occupied almost all the available space left in the existing 300 rack space that was built in 2015, during the first phase construction of its data centre located in Lekki axis of Lagos

Adegbiji added that since 2015 when MDXi data centre was launched, the management had spent a total of $35 million, estimated at N10.7 billion in current naira valuation, the company has sunk into building capacity in the last five years to create a world-class data service centre.

In a passionate message to the Federal Government, the GM said the time has come for the government to make stronger policies to ensure that private sector and organs of state host very important critical national data for security and economic reasons.

“Government must know the importance of data domestication in Nigeria. When data is hosted abroad the outside world gets our data before us because they have access to it,” he said, adding that Nigerian Banks now know the value of local data hosting.

“Over 70% of Nigerian Banks host data at MDXi and out of the 22 banks in Nigeria, 21 among them have something to do with MDXi data centre. MDXi expansion from 300 racks to 600 racks is as a result of increasing customer needs”, he stated.

Adegbiji said, more than 70 percent of the current capacity of 300 racks is already occupied and the rest are already paid for. “By March this years, our current capacity will be exhausted. That is why we have embarked on expansion for another 300 racks. In fact, some companies are already booking for space in the new space.

He admitted that data centre business is capital intensive, therefore called on federal government to support data centre operations in Nigeria.

He said, there was the need for proper regulation of data centre in the country and called on the government to declare data centre operation as critical national infrastructure that needs government attention because of the critical role it plays in the economy of any country.

Giving details of MDXi operations in Nigeria, Adegbiji said, “MDXi is West Africa’s largest full-scale data centre provider offering colocation, wholesale deployments, interconnection and cloud services.

MDXi is the gold standard for data centre real estate in the region as it develops a data centre eco-system spanning facilities in Lagos, Sagamu, Accra, and Code D’Ivoire and Senegal.”

According to Adegbiji, MDXi is best in class infrastructure, built to TIA 942 and Uptime Institute as serves as West Africa’s Tier III Standards, which as serves as West Africa’s Tier III facility with PCI DSS, ISO 27001 and 9001 certifications.

MDXi customers have direct access to all major telecom carrier and Internet Service Provider (ISP) networks in West Africa, multiple peering exchanges in Nigeria, Ghana, Amsterdam, and London, offering cloud services in addition to data hosting.

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