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Panic as Monkeypox Hits Lagos, Others



Two suspected cases of Monkeypox have been recorded in Lagos State, according to Dr. Jide Idris, commissioner for Health in the state.


Idris, on Monday, said that “Though no confirmed case has been recorded, there is need to sensitise members of the public and provide adequate information on measures for prevention and control of the disease in line with the policy of the state government.”


Idris, said the two suspected cases were recorded in a private hospital which he did not name and added that one of the suspected cases just came from Bayelsa State and ate bush meat.


Idris said the two suspected cases had been quarantined in their various houses pending the result of the investigation.


The commissioner said in the wake of this outbreak, the government was reiterating the need for members of the public to observe and maintain a high standard of personal and environmental hygiene at all times as part of the precautionary measures to prevent the spread of the disease to the State.


He urged the public to be vigilant and report any suspected case of the disease to the nearest public health facility or the Directorate of Disease Control in the Ministry of Health.


“Also, health workers are advised to practise universal safety precautions in the management of suspected or confirmed cases, wear appropriate Personal Protective Equipment when attending to cases, wash hands after each contact with patient or contaminated materials while surveillance system must be strengthened.


“The state government has mobilised the Disease Surveillance Officers in the 57 LGAs and LCDAs in the state and health workers in both public and private health facilities have been placed on high alert,” Idris said.


Idris called on residents to remain calm and go about their businesses without fear as the government had put in place adequate measures to effectively prevent and control the spread of the infection to the state.


“In case of any suspected case of Monkey Pox, the Lagos State Ministry of Health should be notified through the following mobile lines: 08037170614, 09087106072,” the commissioner said.


Elsewhere, Monkey pox, which started with an index case in Bayelsa on September 22, has spread to six other states, including Lagos.


There are 31 cases, the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), said.


Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, national coordinator/CEO, NCDC listed the states as Bayelsa, Rivers, Ekiti, Akwa Ibom, Ogun and Cross River.


He said samples had been collected from each suspected case for laboratory confirmation.


Said Ihekweazu: “It is unlikely that many of the suspected cases are actually monkey pox, but all are being    investigated.”


He said all the suspected   cases were receiving medical care and the patients improving clinically in their    various states.


Ihekweazu said the centre had activated an Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) to coordinate the outbreak  investigation and response across the affected states.


“The EOC is currently supporting state ministries of Health in their response to the outbreak through active case finding, epidemiological investigation and contact tracing. Measures have been put in place to ensure effective sample collection and testing to enable laboratory confirmation. Risk communication activities have been heightened to advise the public on preventive measures. All 36 states and the FCT have been notified for preparedness,” he explained.


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Ex-Mainstreet Bank Boss Remanded in Prison over Forgery



Mr Chester Ukandu, former managing director, Mainstreet Bank Registrars Limited, and Mr Achi George, director of the company, have been remanded in prison custody over alleged forging Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) documents.


The two ex- officials were ordered to be remanded by Justice O. A. Williams of the Special Offences Court, Ikeja after they pleaded not guilty to a three-count charge of conspiracy and forgery brought against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).


According to Mrs Zainab Ettu, the EFCC prosecutor, the suspects between February 6 and 7, 2012, conspired among themselves and forged the letter head paper of Mainstreet Bank Registrars Limited, with registration number: 613674, claiming that it emanated from Mainstreet Bank’s Registrars Limited.


They were also accused of forging a Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) Form 2A, claiming that it emanated from CAC.


Ettu informed the court that the two suspects, who were formerly Managing Director and Director of the company, had retired from the company, only to unlawfully convert the company’s properties and bank account with Skye Bank for personal use.


The prosecutor also informed the court that the two defendants were apprehended after investigation was conducted on a petition written by the Company’s lawyer, Dr. Charles Mekwunye, after which they were consequently charged before the court. However, they all pleaded not guilty to the three-count charge.


Following their plea, Samuel Agwuh, their Lawyer, informed the court that he had filed bail applications, and urged the court to grant his clients bail in the most liberal terms.


Responding, the prosecutor, informed the court that they were just served with the applications, and needed time to respond.


The prosecutor consequently urged the court to remand the defendants in custody pending when the bail applications will be heard. Ruling on the submissions of both parties, the presiding Judge, Justice O.A. Williams, ordered that the two defendants to be remanded in Ikoyi Prisons till April 10, when their bail applications will be entertained.

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Kaspersky says POS Malware Targets Chip and PIN Cards



Researchers from Kaspersky Lab researchers have discovered that the cyber criminal group behind the Prilex point-of-sale (POS) malware now have the ability to turn stolen credit card data into functional plastic cards.

Employing ‘smart’ chip and PIN technology to protect payment cards has been widely used around the world over the past ten years, and its growing popularity has attracted attackers.

Prilex has been active in South America since 2014, and has evolved, shifting its efforts from ATM hacks to attacks on POS systems developed by Brazilian vendors. It is now using used stolen credit card information to create functional plastic cards.

This will allow crooks to perform fraudulent transactions in online and physical shops. “This is the first time that the researchers have seen in the wild such a full suite of tools for carrying out fraud. The cloned credit card works in any point-of-sale system in Brazil due to a faulty implementation of the EMV standard that means not all data is verified during the approval process,” says Kaspersky Lab.

How it works

Prilex malware is made up of three components: malware that modifies the POS system and intercepts the credit card information, a server to manage the illegally obtained information, and finally an application that the malware ‘client’ can use to view, clone or save statistics related to the cards.

“This is the most notable feature of the malware: its associated business model, where all the users’ needs are taken into account, including the need for a simple and friendly user interface,” adds Kaspersky.

Research shows that Prilex is distributed through the traditional postal service, convincing victims to grant computer access to the criminals for a remote support session, which is then used to install the malware. The majority of victims tend to be traditional shops, such as petrol stations, supermarkets and typical retail markets.

Thiago Marques, security analyst at Kaspersky Lab, says Prilex offers attackers everything from a graphic user interface to well-designed modules that can be used to create different credit card structures.

Chip and PIN technology is still relatively new in some parts of the world, such as the US, and many people are not aware of the risk of credit card cloning and abuse.

In Brazil, Prilex has been able to take advantage of a faulty implementation of the industry standards, emphasising the importance of developing secure, future proof standards for payment technologies, he added.

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FG Approves Cisco Networking Academy in Federal Unity Colleges



The Federal Government of Nigeria through the Federal Ministry of Education has approved the Cisco Networking Academy Program as well as the establishment of 6 Internet of things (IoT) innovation centres across the Federal Unity Colleges in the six geo-political zones of Nigeria.

This initiative is part of Cisco’s strategic partnership with the Federal Ministry of Education to provide access to quality ICT education in the Country.

The project is driven by one of Cisco’s Networking Academy Support Centres, UNITeS, and so far, two IoT Innovation Centres have already been established at the Federal Science and Technical College, Yaba and at FGC, Bwari, Abuja.

Speaking at the official opening and inauguration of one of the Innovation Centres at Queen’s College, Lagos, the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu represented by the Director of ICT, Federal Ministry of Education, Ifegwu Orji, stated: ‘Qualitative education in the modern world is intrinsically tied to the development and deployment of ICT in education.

This initiative by Cisco is highly commendable as it will train our students to become global problem solvers and to become competitive on a global level.  It is my earnest desire that this centre will produce great minds that will make a difference Nigeria”

The Minister went on to endorse and approve of all other Cisco long-term CSR programmes, urging all stakeholders in the sector to partner with the government in order to salvage the education system of the country towards the attainment of sustainable development, towards a digital economy.

CSR Programme Manager, Cisco Nigeria, Imoh Akpan remarked: “The establishment of these centres is one way that Cisco encourages the adoption and the application of technology.

Our aim is to boost the education sector, ensuring more students are exposed to skills for the digital economy, in the current 4th Industrial Revolution, thereby enhancing Nigeria’s global competitiveness, boosting socio-economic development, as well as promoting employability”.

The Unites Internet of Things Innovation Centre which is the first in Sub- Saharan Africa, designed to serve as a centre for research and development that will provide solutions to social challenges and developmental problems, and transform Federal Unity Colleges into smart schools for teaching and learning.

The intervention will provide our children with a competitive edge when entering higher education or the labour market.

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