Examination Of The Cyber Security Laws In Nigeria In The Era Of Internet Scams.
By Ogham Stanley Chukwubueze
Internet hoodlums have ravaged the cyber world of today, and at the same time threatened the cyber security environment. Individuals, organizations, institutions, government and economy are vulnerable for an intrusions and unauthorized network breach in this modern environs. This era of internet scams has continuously posed a global unbecoming and a serious threat on humanity and their rights to privacy.
In the light of this, this article magnetizes the entailments of Cyber security, cyber security and cyber crime statute in Nigeria, cyber crimes, data breach and sanctions.
The emergence of internet scams has gradually altered the cyber platform and it’s confidence and trust, increasing the security risk therein.
The information and communication technology (I.C.T.) has transformed the way in which individuals conduct business, purchase goods and services, send and receive money, communication, share information, interact with people and cultivate relationships with others. Cyber security protects the computer system and network from information disclosure theft, or damage to the hardware, software or electronic data.
In harmony to the Oxford Dictionary; Cyber security is the state of being protected against the criminal or unauthorized use of electronic data.
Also, cyber security consists largely of defensive methods used to detect and thwart would-be Intruders. (kemmerer, 2003).
Cyber security entails the safeguarding of computer networks and the information they contain from penetration and from malicious damage or disruption. (Lewis, 2006).
Cyber security is the ability or defend the use of cyber space from cyber attacks. (CNSS, 2010).
The viewpoint of all these definitions is centered on protection of information against attackers or Intruders.
Cyber security and cyber crime statutes in Nigeria.
The Nigerian law making body is not silent on the issue of cyber crime. In other to promote cyber security and to protect information of the people and organizations; Cyber Crime (Prevention, prohibition, e t.c.) Act in 2015 was enacted to battle the issues plaguing the society, by perpetrators who use the internet or computer systems for crimes.
The Act also seek to ensure the protection of critical and vital information and to encourage cyber security through the protection of computer apparatus and networks, electronic communications, data and computer programs, intellectual property and privacy.
Issues like cyber squatting, cyber bullying, yahoo boys, economic sabotages, intellectual property violation and cyber terrorism can be tackled in the Act and it also prescribes punishment for specific actors.
Another law that deals with cyber crime is the Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). It was inaugurated in 2003, it was installed as a law enforcement agency to look into or investigate crimes relating to finance which includes fee fraud and money laundering. The EFCC investigates people in all sectors who are living above their means and it is has the jurisdiction to investigate and prosecute Money laundering and other criminal activities relating to finances.
Also, the Independent Corruption Practices (ICPC) was established and inaugurated on 29th September, 2000. It’s aim is to receive and investigate reports of corruption, prosecute the offenders. They work together with the EFCC to prosecute an individual relating to cyber crimes.
Cyber crimes is an offence with a universal nature. Some countries are actively engaged in the need to tackle it using the weapons of the law. For example, Australia passed it’s cyber crimes Act in 2001, Jamaica re-enacted it’s Cyber Crime Act of 2010 in 2015, The U.S. Cyber crimes Act was complied in 2006, Philippians passed it’s cyber crimes prevention Act in 2012, amongst others.
Cyber Crimes and data breaches
Cyber Crime can be perpetrated by Individuals, groups business and nation state. while these actors may use similar tactics and attack similar targets.
According to Black Law Dictionary, it entails cyber crimes as involving the use of computer such as sabotaging or stealing electronically stored data.
In trendmicro. com, cyber crime was defined as an incidental data breach, where information is stolen or taken from a system without the knowledge or authorization of the system’s owner.
A small company or large organization may suffer a data breach. Stolen data may involve sensitive, proprietary or confidential information, such as credit card numbers or matters of security e.t.c.
Internet scams have become a new normal of the day, they intrudes into people’s and organizations security territories and act criminal or malicious activities that will cripple an individual or organization assets. It has also taken a dangerous tolls on the cyber globe. If this issue is not apprehended or addressed, it can cause a tremendous mayhem to Nigeria and to the World at large.
For a reputable law firm to produce an information, it is one of it’s most valuable assets. The repercussions of a cyber security breach or a cyber crime could be, loss in finances, reputational harm, breach of contract, breach of professional rules and standard amongst others.
In the society today, there have been reported data breaches, between 2013 and 2014, yahoo Email lost 3,000,000,000 records. In 2012, LinkedIn records of 200,000,000 were stolen. Between May and July 2017, Equifax information and solutions company records of 145, 500 were stolen. Between 17th to 19th April, 2011, Sony play stadium Network electronic firm records of 102,000,000 were stolen.
Sanctions relating to cyber crimes
In other to reduce the furtherance of cyber crime and breach. Sanctions on violators are very vital to serve as deterrence to others.
In narrowing down the hints to the Cyber Crime (prevention, prohibition e t.c.) Act 2015. It prescribes punishments to the violators.
In part III of the Act enumerates the offences and the penalties.
Section 5, prescribes a sentence of imprisonment of not more than 10years without option of fine for person who with intent commit any offence against any critical national information infrastructure. Where such offences results in grievous bodily harm to any person, the offender shall be liable on conviction to imprisonment of a term not more than 15years without option of fine.
The Act also prescribes in section 6 for a person who intentionally intrudes without authorization into a computer system or network in whole or part. Such offence is punishable upon conviction with imprisonment of not more than 5years or a fine of not more than N5,000,000 or both. Where the offence is committed with the intent of obtaining computer data, security access to any program, commercial or Individual secret or classified information, the punishment shall be imprisonment for not more than 7 years or a fine of not more than N7,000.00.
Offences relating electronic or online fraud using a cyber café is punishable with a term of three years imprisonment or a fine of one million naira or both under section 2.
Section 8 provides that where any person who without lawful authority or for fraudulent purposes does any act which interferes with the functioning of a computer system commits an offence which is punishable with a term of imprisonment of not more than 2 years or a fine of not more than 5,000,000 or both.
Offences relating to intercepting electronic messages is punishable under section 9, 14 years imprisonment.
Offences relating to computer related forgery is punishable under section 13 with a sentence of not more than 5 years imprisonment or a fine of not less than N7,000,000 or both.
Offences related to computer related fraud is punishable under section 14 of the Act, it prescribes a sentence of not more than 5 years or fine of not more than N7,000,000.
Section 25 criminalizes cybersquatting, an intentional and unauthorized use of a name, business name or trademark or domain name owned or in use by another person or body.
Under section 26, offences related to racist and xenophobic is punishable with imprisonment of not more than 5 years or to a fine of N10,000,000 or both.
Part VI states method or procedures for arrest, search and prosecution under the Act.
The society at large is rapidly emerging to e-society, where everything is done electronically. The society is increasing relying on the internet platforms and this is vulnerable or unprotected for cyber Intruders and attackers.
Certain precautionary measures should be taken by citizens while using the internet, such as to make sure that your system and network are patched and updated to prevent attackers from exploiting vulnerabilities in unpatched or outdated software. Inform your employee about threats, train them to watch out for social engineering tactics.
Secure all your devices such as laptops, mobile devices and wearables. Ensure that they are protected by security software that is always updated. Use strong passwords which combines random strings of upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols. Don’t use passwords that are easy to guess, like family names or birthdays. Close accounts you don’t use rather than leaving them dormant and back up your files.
All hands must be on deck to eradicate cyber attackers, Intruders and to strengthen our cyber security for an easy e-society.
AO Kaspersky lab @2022
@2016 Rolf H. Weber/Evelyne student. Published by Elesvier Ltd
Law society of Scotland; consequences of a cyber security breach.
Cyber Crimes (Prohibition, prevention, E.t.c.) Act 2015
Economic Financial Crimes Commission Act (EFCC) 2003
Independent Corruption Practices commission (ICPC) Act 2000
Data breach; trend macro
Mr. Kalyan Rao Peddi Reddit B. com (Hons)
Cyber crimes: Dr Chidimma Odaghara
Black Law Dictionary
Cyber security article; Israel Adekunle Adeniyi. University of Ilorin
The Evolution of Cyber security… by Florence Bola – Balogun.
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