2023: Fears as INEC says result portal was attacked by hackers during Ekiti, Osun elections

There has been an imminent fear about the credibility of the coming general elections in 2023 as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) reveals its result viewing (IReV) portal has experienced attacks from multiple hackers across the world.

The commission particularly said its system was attacked by hackers during the offshore elections in Ekiti and Osun which were held in June and July 2022 respectively.

Mahmood Yakubu, INEC chairman, said this while delivering a keynote address at a stakeholders’ conference on election result management on Friday, September 2022, in Abuja. 

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The conference was organised by YIAGA Africa, a civil society organisation (CSO), to launch the election result analysis dashboard (ERAD) report agenda.

Yakubu said the commission has recorded several attempts to hack the cyber security system of the result viewing portal.

“Another technical concern for us is the repeated attempts to break through our cyber security system for the portal.

“Our engineers reported several cyber attacks on the portal during the Ekiti and Osun governorship elections, some of them from as far as Asia. I am glad to note that all of them failed,” the INEC chairman said.

He promised that INEC would take adequate steps to correct some of the administrative lapses that occurred during the last two polls before the 2023 general elections.

“However, while we are confident in the security solutions that we have deployed for IReV and all our web presence, we must remain vigilant and continue to strengthen our defences. We have tasked our engineers to do everything possible to fully protect the IReV and all our web resources.

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“For example, we found that some of the low-quality uploads that occurred in the field, which some of the observers have also noted, were due to the unavailability or substitution of presiding officers that were trained prior to the elections,” he said.

The INEC chairman added: “We shall administratively deal with this challenge and ensure that only adequately trained Presiding Officers are deployed for elections.

“Also, more hands-on training may be required to ensure that all those involved throughout the value chain of the IReV are fully ready for what is bound to be a major outing during the 2023 general election,” he said.

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