Ethiopia ‘foils’ cyberattack on Nile Dam and financial institutions

Ethiopian authorities said on Tuesday they had halted attempted international cyberattacks targeting the massive Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) and key financial institutions in the country. financial institutions,” said Shumete Gizaw, Director General of the Ethiopian Information Network Security Agency (INSA).

He spoke to local state-run media on Tuesday.

Mr Shumete alleged that a country-sponsored organization that “envy Ethiopia’s peace and development efforts” has declared a cyber war against Addis Ababa under the slogan of “Black Pyramid War”.

However, he did not reveal the sponsoring countries involved or the organization or its headquarters.

Earlier, Addis Ababa accused Egypt-based hackers of trying to hack into computer systems in Ethiopia. Egypt has come out against the dam arguing that it is necessary to reach an agreement on how to fill and operate the structure as it is built on Cairo’s main water source. But Ethiopia was adamant that water is a sovereign project first and will not harm downstream countries Sudan and Egypt.

Mr Shumete said the series of attempted cyberattacks were aimed at sabotaging the successful construction of the mega dam project.

He warned that cyberattacks against the GERD may increase in the future, and concerted cybersecurity is being implemented to protect both the construction and administration of the mega dam works. if the attempted attacks were successful,” he added.

It is unclear which Ethiopian financial institutions were targeted in the cyberattacks.

Mr. Shumete, however, advised all financial institutions to implement thorough defenses to protect sensitive data from cyberattacks.

INSA, the country’s main intelligence agency, claims to have foiled more than 3,400 cyberattack attempts in the past six months.

In 2020, INSA reported success in thwarting cyberattacks originating in Egypt.

The agency said that Egypt-based hackers – Cyber_Horus Group, AnuBis.

Hacker and Security By Passed orchestrated the then foiled cyberattacks. “These groups claimed responsibility for the attacks, intending to create full pressure on Ethiopia regarding the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), especially to stop the filling of the dam. dam,” INSA said in a statement in 2020.

As cyberattacks on Ethiopia mount, the Horn of Africa nation last month hosted a meeting of East African military intelligence agencies.

The Addis Ababa meeting in mid-April brought together Ethiopia, Djibouti, Sudan, South Sudan, Somalia, Tanzania and Uganda.

During the meeting, military intelligence agencies agreed to work together to strengthen security in the region and prevent attacks, including cyberattacks.

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Marianne R. Winn