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NCC alerts Nigerians of new ransomware attacking organisational network

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Nasiru Yusuf

 

The Nigerian Communications Commission alerts members of the public that a cybercrime group has perfected a new year scheme to deliver ransomware to targeted organizational networks.

KANO FOCUS reports that the new ransomware uncovered by security experts has been categorised, by the Nigerian Computer Emergency Response Team’s (ngCERT) advisory released over the weekend, as high-risk and critical.

According to the ngCERT advisory, the criminal group is said to have been mailing out USB thumb drives to many organisations in the hope that recipients will plug them into their PCs and install the ransomware on their networks. While businesses are being targeted, criminals could soon begin sending infected USB drives to individuals.

Describing how the cybercrime group runs the ransomeware, the ngCERT advisory says the USB drives contain so-called ‘BadUSB’ attacks. The BadUSB exploits the USB standards versatility and allows an attacker to reprogram a USB drive to emulate a keyboard to create keystrokes and commands on a computer. It then installs malware prior to the operating system booting, or spoofs a network card to redirect traffic.

A statement sent to KANO FOCUS said numerous attack tools are also installed in the process that allows for exploitation of personal computers (PCs), lateral movement across a network, and installation of additional malware. The tools were used to deploy multiple ransomware strains, including BlackBatter and REvil.

According to ngCERT, the attack has been seen in the US where the USB drives were sent in the mail through the Postal Service and Parcel Service. One type contained a message impersonating the US Department of Health and Human Services and claimed to be a COVID-19 warning. Other malicious USBs were sent in the post with a gift card claiming to be from Amazon.

 However, ngCERT has offered recommendations that will enable corporate and individual networks to mitigate the impact of this new cyber attack and be protected from the ransomware.

These recommendations include a call on individuals and organisations not to insert USB drives from unknown sources, even if they’re addressed to you or your organization. In addition, if the USB drive comes from a company or a person one is not familiar with and trusts, it is recommended that one contacts the source to confirm they actually sent the USB drive.

Finally, ngCERT has advised Information and Communication Technology as well as other Internet users to report any incident of system compromises to ngCERT via incident@cert.gov.ng, for technical assistance.

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Land racketteering: Emir of Gaya sacks village head of Gudduba

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Nasiru Yusuf

Gaya Emirate council has terminated the appointment of village head of Gudduba, Ajingi Local Government Mallam Usman Muhammad Lawan with immediate effect.

KANO FOCUS reports that the spokesperson of the Emirate, Aminu Ahmad Rano announced this in a statement issued on Wednesday.

He said after a thorough verification the village head was found guilty in engaging in land racketeering.

To this end the District Head of Gaya Alhaji Wada Aliyu (Madakin Gaya) has been directed to send a representative to oversee the affairs of the village.

The Emir noted that the Emirate will no longer tolerate indiscipline or any act that will tarnish the image of the Emirate.

The monarch directed all traditional rulers and tittle holders to justified the confidence reposed on them.

It will be recalled that the Emir of Karaye Alhaji Ibrahim Abubakar ll had earlier suspended Village head of Yango town in Rimingado local government area for similar offence.

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Four Kano Assembly members dump NNPP for APC

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Nasiru Yusuf

Member of the Kano state House of Assembly representing Rabi’u Kwankwaso’s constituency, Madobi, Kabiru Isma’il has decamped from the New Nigerian People Party (NNPP) to the ruling All  Progressives Congress (APC) in Kano state.

KANO FOCUS reports that the commissioner for Information, Muhammad Garba revealed this in a statement issued on Wednesday.

He said that member representing Dawakin Kudu local government, Mu’azzam El-Yakub has also dumped Kwankwaso’s NNPP for the APC.

Both Messrs Isma’il and El-Yakub failed to secure the tickets of NNPP to represent their respective constituencies in 2023 general election.

It will be recalled that some National and State Assembly members who failed to secure the tickets of their party have defected to either APC or NNPP.

Prominent among them is former speaker of Kano state House of Assembly and member representing Rano/Kibiya/Bunkure federal constituency in House of Representatives Kabiru Alhassan Rurum who defected from APC to NNPP.

Others are state legislature representing Bagwai/Shanono, Isa Ali rejoined the APC days after decamping to the NNPP and member representing Dambatta state constituency, Murtala Kore who also renounced his membership of the NNPP to remain in the APC.

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Kano explosion: Ganduje gives N15m to deceased’s families, injured, school

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Nasiru Yusuf

The Governor of Kano State, Abdullahi Ganduje, on Monday donated about sixteen million naira to the bereaved families of the people killed in last Tuesday’s explosion in the Sabon Gari area of the town.

KANO FOCUS reports that Governor Ganduje announced this on Monday while receiving President Muhammad Buhari who was in Kano for the Annual Air Force Day Celebration.

Ganduje said the state government has given N9 million to the affected families, N2 to those injured some of who are at the Greenfield Specialist Hospital and the Armed Forces Specialist Hospital, N1 million to those who are mildly injured.

He said the donation was a gesture aimed to give some succour to the families of the bereaved.

“More so, there are properties close to the scene that are affected that include two buildings that are damaged, they were given N2 million, and the Winners Academy Nursery/Primary School that were given N1 million.

“As soon as the incident occurred, the state government took immediate action to save those affected and protect the affected area as well.

“Nine people died in the gas cylinder explosion and eleven others were injured,” he said.

The governor said he sympathised with the bereaved families.

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