Senegal launches CYBER October: Cyber Karangué*, let's adopt cyber barrier gestures during COVID-19

16-10-2020 (*security in Wolof)

DAKAR   The month of October is dedicated to raising awareness on cybersecurity to share experiences and best practices in protecting critical infrastructure and essential services during the COVID-19 pandemic but also to raise awareness among Internet users, especially children, on digital security.

  

Carmen Corbin, cybersecurity advisor at the UNODCwith Mr. Yoro Moussa Diallo, Secretary-General of theMinistry of Digital Economy and Telecommunications

UNODC and the Ministry of Digital Economy and Telecommunications in Senegal launched October Cyber and a number of activities that will take place over the course of the month, on 16th October 2020. A series of weekly webinars will be hosted by experts and young people active in the field of cybersecurity awareness, on :

  • Cybersecurity of critical infrastructure and critical services in the face of the pandemic
  • Internet Privacy Protection and Good Practices for Child Online Safety
  • Engaging girls in STEM and cybersecurity professions

Senegal is the fifth African country most attacked by cybercriminals on the continent, revealed  Adjeoura Haikreo, CEO of 4Itsec-Africa. At the global level, Senegal ranks 71st among the most attacked countries. The teacher and information systems security professional made a presentation on the theme: "Cybercrime in Senegal: what strategies", during the launch of Cyber October.

With confinement measures in place most school, work and recreational activities now take place online.

  

This increase in the number of people connected has led to a sharp rise in the number of cyber criminals since the beginning of the pandemic, warned Carmen Corbin, cyber security advisor at the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in West and Central Africa to alert on online dangers.

"For example, we have seen on the Darknet, the hidden part of the Internet, a significant increase in activity on some forums where images of child abuse, showing rape and sexual torture of children, are exchanged.

We have seen fake medicines and protective equipment offered for sale online... We must therefore remain vigilant and think critically about the e-mails we receive before sending photos, money, or personal information," she said.

  

Thanks to numerous public awareness campaigns and media coverage, the fight against cybercrime have now moved forward. Today, the public is more aware of the risks lurking on the Internet and the scams that are being spread by e-mail, SMS or social networks. In addition, many technology companies have strengthened their platforms to prevent the intrusion of cybercriminals.

Internet users have become even more exposed to potential dangers since surfing the web has become unavoidable, encouraging the resurgence of cybercrimes such as sharing and disseminating child pornography, the dissemination of fake news, acts of phishing, data theft through telework, cyberattacks targeting health systems.