hackers

On January 21, at approximately 7:10hrs GMT, the National Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-GH) of the Ministry of Communications received an incidence report that the Ghana Government official website, had been defaced.hackers

Upon further investigation, the team discovered that 11 government websites out of 58 sites hosted by the National Information Technology Agency (NITA) were involved.

A statement issued in Accra on Tuesday by NITA and signed by its Director-General, said the team also found out that Ghana was among several other countries, including Ukraine, Portugal, the United Kingdom, Argentina, Mexico, United States of America, and Vietnam, that were hit by the attack from a group called Alsancak Tim TURKISH Hacking Group.

The statement recalled that in all, 53 websites globally were attacked by the Group.

It said, in line with the mandate as a national CERT to coordinate resolution of computer security incidences with its constituents, the CERT-GH team together with the National IT Agency (NITA) technical team immediately began the process to contain the attack.

The statement intimated that as a first measure, the main web server at the NITA data center was shut down, to avert any further damage from the attack.

It said after forensic investigation of the hacked websites, the team discovered that the attack was from a Turkish-based IP address.

The statement said the CERT-GH team and NITA restored the web service to all the hacked websites within 12 hours, without compromising any information.

It pointed out that ‘the integrity of all our backups was not breached.’

The statement explained that an investigation into the cause of the attack revealed certain vulnerabilities which have been addressed.

The statement indicated that as part of the corrective measures, NITA has instituted new protocols, to strengthen information security, in order to forestall any future occurrences of such attacks.

It said, in addition, NITA is currently deploying state-of-the-art security intrusion detection and prevention at the National Primary and Secondary Data Centers, adding that . the operational capacity of the National CERT is also being strengthened.

The statement commended the Turkish Ambassador to Ghana for his role, and `for agreeing on a solution that offers mutual comfort to our two nations.’

‘We wish to advise all Ghanaians to immediately carry out audits on their systems, strengthen early warning signals, and tighten possible gaps, to ensure a safer cyber space for all internet users. Accordingly all suspicious online activities are to be reported to the National Computer Emergency Response Team by email at [email protected],’ the statement concluded.

GNA

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