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Govt Warns Of Cyber Attack



Govt Warns Of Cyber Attack

The federal government has warned of a cyber attack by a wide-scale malicious email campaign operated by Nobelium, the threat actor behind the attacks against SolarWinds, the SUNBURST backdoor, TEARDROP malware, GoldMax malware, and other related components.

The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) urged Nigerians to beware of the widespread malicious email campaign undertaken by Nobelium masquerading as the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

Hadiza Umar, the NITDA spokeswoman, issued the alert late on Sunday in Abuja.

Umar said the malicious group, uncovered by Microsoft, leveraged the legitimate mass-mailing service to masquerade as USAID and distribute malicious uniform resource locator (URLs) to a wide variety of organisations.

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According to her, the group targets government organisations, non-government organisations, think tanks, the military, IT service providers, health, technology, and telecommunications providers.

“Their antics involve the use of emails claiming to be an alert from USAID about new documents published by former President Donald Trump about election fraud.

“Once users click the link in the email, the URL would direct them to the legitimate Constant Contact Service and then redirect to Nobelium-controlled infrastructure through a URL that delivers a malicious International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) file.

“This, in turn, enables the criminals to execute further malicious objectives, such as lateral movement, data exfiltration, and delivery of additional malware,” said the NITDA.

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The agency urged organisations and individuals to enable network protection to prevent applications or users from accessing malicious domains and other malicious content on the Internet.

Other measures suggested by the NITDA included enabling investigation and remediation in “fully automated” mode to allow antivirus to take immediate action on alerts to resolve breaches.

It added: “Use device discovery to increase your visibility into your network by finding unmanaged devices on your network and onboarding them.

“Enable Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) to mitigate compromised credentials and block all office applications from creating child processes.”

Umar advised Nigerians to report any incident by contacting NITDA’S Computer Emergency Readiness and Response Team via email or telephone +2348178774580.


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Reps Adopt Pay-per-view DSTV Policy



Reps Adopt Pay-per-view DSTV Policy

The House of Representatives has adopted the pay-per-view, pay-as-you-go and price reduction for DSTV and other cable satellite operators in the country.

This followed the approval of the recommendations of the ad–hoc Committee on the Non–Implementation of Pay–As–You–Go and sudden Increment of Tariffs plan by Broadcast Digital Satellite Service Providers.

The chairman of the committee, Unyime Idem, had earlier laid the report before the House, before it was considered by the House on Wednesday in Abuja.

The House called on the federal government to expedite action on the implementation of the National Broadcasting Code and the Nigeria Information Policy of 2014.This the House noted, would trigger healthy competition in the industry, adding that the entertainment industry had a wider spectrum with limitless opportunities for the teeming youths.

The House stated that the visible absence of competitors in the industry was tacit approval of monopoly of the industry by the present operators.

Thus, the lawmakers suggested that timely application of government regulatory intervention measures already articulated would revolutionise the industry and meet the people’s yearnings for Pay-as-you-go, Pay-Per-View and price reduction.

According to the recommendation, Nigeria’s extant laws that moderate operations in the industry should be fine-tuned to meet the 21st-century regulatory laws of the industry that is dynamic as the entertainment industry.

According to the House, the commission that has the power to license and regulate the activities of service providers must also have the power to moderate in the protection of consumers.

It was stated that there was little or nothing a regulator could do if he was handicapped by laws that were not properly tailored to the needs of the society.

The report said that price increase and reduction had always been contentious issues for producers and consumers in the business world.

The House also listed the factors responsible for hike in subscription fee as the recent increment of VAT by 2.5 per cent by Financial Amendment Act of January 13 2020, and the fluctuating foreign exchange rate in the country that affects the cost of content.

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Others are broadcast equipment, experienced hire and technical infrastructure, increase in bouquets for a wider choice, inflation on the cost of production and need to maintain workforce.

They identified the need not to throw many young Nigerians who are gainfully employed by pay-tv into the labour market.

The report noted that the use of Nigerian NigComSat or Nigerian Satellite that is still under-utilised was advocated by the committee.

The House urged the management of NigComSat to embark on the creation of awareness to companies and organisations that make use of satellite facilities.

The House advised satellite infrastructure users to look inwards and patronise the country’s satellite, reduce the cost of production and services and generate income for the government.

All obstacles that make use of NigComSat less attractive to the end-users must be looked into as utilisation of the satellite was key to resolving the issue, the House directed.


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Govt To Impose Tax On Facebook, Twitter, Others



Govt To Impose Tax On Facebook, Twitter, Others

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has hinted of a plan by the Federal Government to impose tax on giant technology and digital companies in Nigeria.

Osinbajo said the Federal Government would utilize its legal provisions to collect taxes on profits made in the country by global technology and digital firms not based in the country, but with significant economic presence.

He disclosed this during an interactive session with a delegation of the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria, CITN, led by its President, Mr Adesina Adedayo at the Presidential Villa on Friday and was contained in a statement by his spokesman, Laolu Akande.

Osinbajo, however, assured Nigerians that government would not be increasing tax any time soon.

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The statement reads partly: “While the Federal Government will not be raising tax rates at this time, based on the Finance Act 2019, it is already empowered to widen the tax net, including by collecting taxes on the Nigerian income of global tech giants with significant economic presence here, even if they have not established an office or permanent establishment and are currently not paying taxes in Nigeria.

“In this regard, Section 4 of the Finance Act 2019, provides that ‘the Minister (Finance) may by order (of the President) determine what constitutes the significant economic presence of a company other than a Nigerian company.

“We have had severe economic downturns which of course implies that we may not be able to collect taxes with the aggressiveness that would ordinarily be expected.

“I think the most important thing is that we must widen our tax net so that more people who are eligible to pay tax are paying. Several efforts have been made, and I am sure you are aware of the initiatives including the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS) which was also an attempt to bring more people into the tax net, including those who have foreign assets.”

Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Tiktok will be mostly affected by the new tax imposition when implemented.

These platforms are part of technological companies operating in Nigeria but are located abroad.


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El Salvador Becomes First Country To Adopt Bitcoin For Use As Legal Tender



El Salvador Becomes First Country To Adopt Bitcoin For Use As Legal Tender

El Salvador will become the first nation to adopt a cryptocurrency for everyday use.

Lawmakers in the Central American nation’s Congress passed a bill late Tuesday that will eventually allow Bitcoin to be used for many aspects of daily life, from property purchases to tax contributions.

“The #BitcoinLaw has just been approved by a qualified majority” in the legislative assembly, President Nayib Bukele tweeted after the vote late Tuesday.

“History!” the president added.

The 39-year-old leader said a majority of 62 out of 84 lawmakers approved the bill, which he proposed just last week.

The law passed with the support of Bukele’s allies despite minority opposition parties — who had criticised the speed of the vote — refusing to back it.

Cryptocurrencies have soared in popularity due to their use as a store of value, the relative anonymity they offer users and wild price fluctuations that present opportunities for greater profits than investing in the regular stock exchanges of the world.

The volatility of bitcoin — currently priced at $33,814 — and its murky legal status have raised questions about whether it could ever replace traditional currency in day-to-day transactions.

But El Salvador — a small nation where four out of 10 people live in poverty — has turned to the top crypto asset that has been backed by billionaires like Elon Musk and large financial companies such as PayPal in a bid to boost its remittance-reliant economy.

El Salvador’s main currency is the US dollar and it remains unclear how the country plans to implement bitcoin as a functioning currency.

Yet the Salvadoran leader has hailed the virtual currency as “the fastest-growing way to transfer” billions of dollars in remittances and to prevent millions from being lost to intermediaries.

Remittances from Salvadorans working overseas represent a major chunk of the economy — equivalent to roughly 22 per cent of Gross Domestic Product.

In 2020, remittances to the country totalled $5.9 billion, according to official reports.

Before the vote, Bukele said adopting the cryptocurrency would bring “financial inclusion, investment, tourism, innovation and economic development” to the country.

“This is a law that will put El Salvador on the world’s radar, we will be more attractive for foreign investment,” Romeo Auerbach, deputy of the Grand Alliance for National Unity party, an ally of Bukele, said.

The cryptocurrency market grew to more than $2.5 trillion by the middle of last month, according to the Coinmarketcap page, driven by interest from increasingly serious investors from Wall Street to Silicon Valley.

Between the beginning of 2020 and a peak in mid-April of $64,870, the price of bitcoin gained nearly 800 per cent.

But since then, the cryptocurrency has fallen in value by more than 50 per cent.

Its price has fallen sharply towards a symbolic $30,000 threshold it has not crossed since January, dragging other cryptocurrencies in its wake.

After Tuesday’s vote, the price jumped more than five per cent.






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