Cyberattacks in West Africa spark debate over online security
A wave of cyberattacks aimed at government-related websites in Nigeria, Ghana and Senegal over the last two months has triggered a debate over how to bolster online security and deal with politically motivated hacking.
A popular Senegalese news site, Seneweb and the website of the government’s ICT management agency, L’Agence De l’Informatique de l’Etat (ADIE), were the first to be hacked in the latest round of attacks, in December and January, respectively (though the Seneweb hack was not disclosed until January).
The attacks were reportedly launched in response to Senegalese President Macky Sall’s participation in a rally in support of the French magazine, Charlie Hebdo. Twelve people were killed on Jan. 7 by two heavily armed men at the Paris office of satirical news weekly Charlie Hebdo. The attack was reportedly prompted by satirical material involving Muslim themes and historical figures.