As the globe is in the era of space war among polarized countries, Ethiopia is most likely in the crosshairs for cyber war by enemies of the country and/or opponents that covet its development, so disclosed scholars in the field.
Dr. Solomon Gezawe, staff of Computer Science Department at Addis Ababa University said that information and communication technology has been climbing heights at this time in terms of infrastructure development. This was not imagined a couple of years ago. Technology has advanced on the leveling of super computers and it could also be found in mobiles and other computer devices.
Nowadays, a computer has sophisticated hardware and software devices .This enables it to save abundant time and resources, he said. That makes the hacker gangs utilize infrastructures for their own gain. Hackers keep themselves abreast with technological pickups.
He remarked that Ethiopia needs empirical evidences to analyze the nature of technology for the sake of national security purpose and until now, it is hard to come across any technological progress aiming to protect the national security.
But, there is an attempt to utilize technologies for national security purposes.Information National Security Agency should work aggressively to protect the national security and sovereignty of the country, as to him. In the information act, there is a policy ratified in 2016 regarding the protection of national security.
As to him, there is, of course, between hackers and administration managers. ‘We are not sure whether we have the capabilities to counter hackers who are insiders and intruders. Hackers have various motivations of value what they gain. It could be money, domination of political and religious ideologies most likely the motivation of the hackers. From the context of this framework, it could be internal or external ones. These interests might be motivating them to engage in the scenarios of hacking,’’ he stated.
He added that Ethiopia should see to the responsibility to preserve its assets and forestall cyber- attack. Egyptian hackers are seen bombarding it.
‘‘Therefore, there are various motivations why Ethiopia is in the crosshairs by hackers. We have to make sure building capacity in the utilization of current technologies and upgrading our security mechanisms. We have to alert ourselves to foil the activities of hackers before a wrong circumstance happens,’’ he indicated.
He noted that it is difficult to say whether Ethiopia has capability to counter the hackers or not and currently, we do not have capability to manage computer security.
Innovational and creativity are one of the tools to counter the attack of hackers. Among the countries that work aggressively on innovational works, South Africa is
a best instance when it comes to the encouragement of students to engage in creativity and innovational works to secure their countries, Dr. Solomon pointed out.
It is better to use open sources software instead of using Microsoft or any others. Germany, Iran and China have been using open source software. This is an important asset to secure Ethiopia too, the scholar highlights.
Besides, in the absence of computers, it is hard to communicate and secure the country with well-established manner. Technology is relevant for the communication links, as to him.
‘‘Other communication link should be considered as well. I have a doubt whether we are able to secure the communication channel. Other countries have used technology for information security but they have considered the security issues. As any technology has its own pros and cons, social networking and social engineering are vital to secure the country. Citizens should be aware and conscious on what is going on at domestic and global level. This contributes a lot to minimize national insecurity. There is a need of permanent solution,’’ the scholar insisted.
He capitalized that social media such as Facebook, Twitter and others should abide by strict rules and regulation and with purposeful value. Internet, created by America Military, is one of the communication channels of disseminating information. Solomon noted that the internet technology by itself is vulnerable and the deliberate creation of an internet was just for communication purpose, nothing else.
‘’The presence of a sound policy, high-savvy technologies, digital investigation, network security administrators, creating awareness are some of the mechanisms countering the incident of hackers. Human factor is the main factor in securing national sovereignty. There should not be human error. Awareness is significant one to secure the country as well. In other words, human resources are important ones to secure the country. Creating awareness, building capacity, using indigenous knowledge are some of the tools to protect the country from online intruders,’’ he concluded.
The Ethiopian Herald July 26, 2020
BY MEHARI BEYENE