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NIMC Joins Secure Identity Alliance

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National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) has joined the Secure Identity Alliance (SIA), as an Advisory Observer, according to a statement by the management.

 

The statement said the SIA is the global identity and secure digital services advisory body, which promotes legal, trusted identity for all.

 

The statement read in parts: “While making the announcement today (Monday), the organisation will named the Director General/CEO of NIMC, Engr. Aliyu Aziz as the Chair of the Advisory Committee of the Open Standards Identity API (OSIA) initiative, in his capacity as an advisory observer and the representative of NIMC.

 

“The meeting is SIA’s ground-breaking global program that set the standards guarding against vendor lock-in for technologies and solutions used by government agencies worldwide in the implementation of their respective identity programs.

 

“Supported by the world’s largest identity providers, the Open Standards Identity API (OSIA) would expectedly enable governments and it agencies like the NIMC to eliminate today’s identity silos and extend coverage to provide universal legal identity for all its citizens and residents.

 

“Injecting new levels of flexibility and openness, the Open Standards Identity API will enable seamless connectivity between all components of the identity management ecosystem independent of technology, solution architecture or vendor to assure the seamless interaction of services. With these open standards in place, governments can plan and evolve their systems in complete confidence,” the statement.

 

The organisation explained that by allowing governments to exert full control over their national identity programs, the OSIA initiative provides the standardized data formats and open interfaces that eliminate the interoperability challenges which all too frequently hamper the evolution of national Identity systems.

 

Engr. Aziz will play a critical role in overseeing the work carried out by the OSIA GitHub Community and OSIA Workgroup, as an OSIA Advisory Committee Chair.

 

He said: “I’m delighted that the era of vendor lock-in is fast coming to an end, yet many agencies and governments across Africa remain unaware of the potential opportunities that OSIA unlocks— including a reduction in the total cost of ownership of their Identity systems. Part of my role will be to spread the word and ensure everyone knows they can access the interconnectivity resources they need to enable high functioning and interoperable Identity ecosystems.

 

Commenting on the development, the Chairman of the Board, Secure Identity Alliance, Frédéric Trojani, said that the program represents an industry-wide commitment to breaking down the technical barriers that, until now, have stood in the way of achieving the United Nations goal of establishing legal identity for every citizen by 2030.

 

According to him, OSIA initiative will help enable the sovereign identity systems that ensure citizens around the world benefit from universal coverage from birth to death, free of discrimination.

 

“The work of the Advisory Committee of the OSIA (Open Standards Identity API) initiative will be critical, going forward, in helping to ensure governments around the world can implement the most appropriate solutions for their needs, without commercial or technical restrictions, and we’re delighted that Engr. Aziz from NIMC will help guide and shape this vital program,” he continued.

 

He also explained that the OSIA initiative represents a new era of openness and collaboration between the world’s largest identity providers to resolve the interoperability and data sharing challenges that previously left governments with limited options, should they need to evolve their ID ecosystems.

 

Also commenting, the Chair of the OSIA Workgroup, Debora Comparin said : “The industry’s open standards vision means governments are now free to use any technology they choose and can take advantage of innovative and emerging technologies as they see fit – confident that there will be no need to discard existing legacy Identity investments.”

 

The organisation said it warmly welcomes governments, and stakeholders within the wider identity community, seeking to contribute to this industry-wide initiative.

 

 


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Millions of Cyber Attacks Launched on Nigeria, Others- Reports

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There were 3.8 million malware attacks and 16.8 million Potentially Unwanted Applications (PUA) detections over a 7-month period in Nigeria, according to Kaspersky security solutions.

Millions of Cyber Attacks Launched on Nigeria, Others- Reports

Elsewhere in South Africa, there were almost 10 million malware attacks and a staggering 43 million PUA detections, showing the growing desperation of the attacks.

The company reported on 28 million malware attacks in 2020 and 102 million detections of potentially unwanted programs (pornware, adware etc.) accounted for by the beginning of August 2020.

These numbers show that it’s not only the malware that attacks users but also the “grey zone” programmes that grow in popularity and disturb their experiences, while users might not even know it is there.

Potentially unwanted applications (PUAs) are programmes that are usually not considered to be malicious by themselves.

However, they are generally influencing user experience in a negative way. For instance, adware fills user device with ads; aggressive monetising software propagates unrequested paid offers; downloaders may download even more various applications on the device, sometimes malicious ones.

calculating interim results of threat landscape activity in African countries, Kaspersky researchers noticed that PUAs attack users almost four times more often than traditional malware.

They also eventually reach more users: for instance, while in South Africa, the malware would attack 415,000 users in 7-months of 2020, the figure for PUA would be 736,000.

“The reason why ‘grey zone’ software is growing in popularity is that it is harder to notice at first and that if the programme is detected, its creators won’t be considered to be cybercriminals. The problem with them is that users are not always aware they consented to the installation of such programmes on their device and that in some cases, such programmes are exploited or used as a disguise for malware downloads,” said Denis Parinov, a security researcher at Kaspersky.

By taking a closer look at PUA, it becomes apparent that they are not only more widespread but also more potent than traditional malware.

Evaluating results over the same 7-month period in Nigeria, there were 3.8 million malware attacks and 16.8 million PUA detections – which is four times as much.

Kenyan and South African threat landscapes have been more intense. In South Africa, there were almost 10 million malware attacks and a staggering 43 million PUA detections.

Kenyan users faced even more malware attacks – around 14 million, and 41 million PUA appearances, Kaspersky said.


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Tech Giants Strike Deal with Advertisers over Hate Speech

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Web giants including Facebook have struck a deal with advertisers on how to identify harmful content such as hate speech, after an impasse over the issue which led to boycotts of the platform.

Tech Giants Strike Deal with Advertisers over Hate Speech

The agreement — which also included Twitter and YouTube — laid out for the first time a common set of definitions for hateful statements online.

In July, hundreds of advertisers including big-name consumer brands suspended advertising with Facebook as part of the #StopHateForProfit campaign, saying the social-media titan should do more to stamp out hatred and misinformation on its platform.

And earlier this month a group of celebrities — including Kim Kardashian, Leonardo DiCaprio and Katy Perry — stopped using Facebook and Instagram for 24 hours, to push a similar message.

The World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) said in a statement Wednesday: “Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, in collaboration with marketers and agencies through the Global Alliance for Responsible Media have agreed to adopt a common set of definitions for hate speech and other harmful content and to collaborate with a view to monitoring industry efforts to improve in this critical area.”

The alliance was founded by the WFA and includes other major trade bodies.

According to the WFA, key areas of agreement included applying the alliance’s common definitions of harmful content; developing reporting standards for such content; establishing independent oversight; and rolling out tools for keeping advertisements away from harmful content.

The WFA said that properly defining online hate speech would remove the current problem of different platforms using their own definitions, which it said made it difficult for companies to decide where to put their ads.

“As funders of the online ecosystem, advertisers have a critical role to play in driving positive change and we are pleased to have reached agreement with the platforms on an action plan and timeline in order to make the necessary improvements,” said Stephan Loerke, chief executive of the WFA.

Luis Di Como, executive vice-president of global media at Unilever, a major advertiser, sounded a note of cautious optimism.

He said: “The issues within the online ecosystem are complicated, and whilst change doesn’t happen overnight, today marks an important step in the right direction.”

Speaking in July, Facebook’s founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said he remained adamant that the company did not want hate speech on the social network.

On Wednesday, the company’s vice-president for global marketing solutions, Carolyn Everson, said the agreement gave all parties “a unified language to move forward on the fight against hate online.”

 


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Nigeria, Others Facing ‘Millions of Cyber Attacks’ in 2020

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Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa, continues to fall victim to millions of malware attacks and Potentially Unwanted Applications (PUAs), according to the latest research from Kaspersky.

The IT security firm says its security solutions have reported on 28 million malware attacks in 2020 and 102 million detections of PUA (including pornware, adware) accounted for by the beginning of August 2020.

PUAs are programs that are usually not considered to be malicious by themselves, Kaspersky explains. However, they are generally influencing user experience in a negative way.

For instance, adware fills user device with ads; aggressive monetizing software propagates unrequested paid offers; downloaders may download even more various applications on the device, sometimes malicious ones.

By taking a closer look at PUA, it becomes apparent that they are not only more widespread but also more potent than traditional malware, according to Kaspersky.

“Evaluating results over the same seven-month period in Nigeria, there were 3,8 million malware attacks and 16,8 million PUA detections – which is four times as much. Kenyan and South African threat landscapes have been more intense.

In South Africa, there were almost 10 million malware attacks and a staggering 43 million PUA detections. Kenyan users faced even more malware attacks – around 14 million, and 41 million PUA appearances,” the company adds.

These numbers show that it’s not only the malware that attacks users but also the ‘grey zone’ programs that grow in popularity and disturb their experiences, while users might not even know it is there.

While calculating interim results of threat landscape activity in African countries, the researchers noticed that PUAs attack users almost four times more often than traditional malware. They also eventually reach more users: for instance, while in South Africa, the malware would attack 415,000 users in seven months of 2020, the figure for PUA would be 736,000.

“The reason why ‘grey zone’ software is growing in popularity is that it is harder to notice at first and that if the program is detected, its creators won’t be considered to be cybercriminals.

“The problem with them is that users are not always aware they consented to the installation of such programs on their device and that in some cases, such programs are exploited or used as a disguise for malware downloads. This is why many security solutions, including ours, flags such programs to make sure users are aware of its presence, influence on their device and activity,” says Denis Parinov, a security researcher at Kaspersky.


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