The Information Network Security Agency (INSA) warned of the possibility of different groups launching a cyber attack as the second round water filling of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) and the sixth general elections approach.
As a heads up for the anticipated cyber attack, INSA organized a full-day conference earlier this week at the Skylight Hotel entitled “Cyber Security for Joint Responsibility” in collaboration with the Ethiopian Media Authority (EMA).
Shumete Gizaw (PhD), Director of INSA, highlighted that groups that intend to dominate regional politics might launch cyber attacks on account of the approaching second round filling of the GERD and the sixth general elections.
Shumete said that by taking lessons from previously launched cyber attacks that aimed at misrepresenting information regarding the GERD, the Agency has been developing diverse kinds of precautions in order to defend the flagship project.
He also noted that the agency is well-equipped and ready to safeguard financial institutions, governmental offices and media institutions that encountered attacks previously.
Mohammed Endris, Director of the Ethiopian Media Authority, said that the Authority has learnt that various media institutions in Ethiopia are exposed to cyber attacks. He went on to state that since cyber security needs acquaintance with technological equipment and trained human resources, the Authority is working to support local media over such sorts of issues.
According to Fitsum Asene, cyber security management expert at INSA, cyber attacks could be executed by activists, states, technology companies, politically affiliated terrorists and IT desk recruits, where attackers utilize security holes, malware and social sites to survey and attack their target.
In Ethiopia, the digital economy has emerged along with significant changes in e-governance, commerce and services. Taking all the mentioned activities into account, cyber security is a major cause for concern in Ethiopia.
Last year, Ethiopia accused Egyptian hackers of launching a number of cyber attacks targeting a number of Ethiopian government websites.
Following the staunch position taken by Egypt against the GERD, information technology infrastructures, communications and websites of public service agencies, security organizations and public and private institutions might be targeted.