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Access Bank Backs Roundtable for African Fintech Innovators

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Africa Fintech Foundry

By Adedapo Adesanya

Africa’s leading digital innovation hub, Africa Fintech Foundry (AFF), is set to host the first virtual edition of its FinTech innovation roundtable on December 11, 2020.

Themed Let’s Talk Tech Resilience 2021, the event, to be held in partnership with Access Bank, will feature experts in venture capital, technology, innovation and tech startups across the globe.

The objective of the event is to understand and inspire disruptive technology-driven solutions in the financial services sector.

Speaking on the event, Mr Daniel Awe, Head of the Africa Fintech Foundry noted that, “The COVID-19 pandemic and socio-political movements have affected the world on a global scale and have interestingly accelerated digital transformations.

“For us at AFF, we have recognised the importance of focusing on topical issues and emerging trends that will transform businesses to become technology-driven, customer-centric and socially relevant post-COVID.”

“This roundtable will explore how technology must evolve to be a force that positively shapes businesses and the society to ensure a safe, peaceful and rewarding future for every citizen,” he added.

On his part, the Executive Director for Information Technology and Operations at Access Bank, Mr Ade Bajomo, stated that “As Africa’s gateway to the world, we are always at the forefront of driving technological innovations that will grow the banking industry in Nigeria as well as Africa.”

“We have partnered with the continent’s leading technology and innovation accelerator, the Africa Fintech Foundry, to bring together stakeholders from different geographical areas who share a common interest in driving technological solutions.

“The AFF Roundtable will enable participants to stay ahead of others as they will be equipped with knowledge of new and emerging trends and how they can tap into the opportunities that exist in them,” the IT expert said.

The AFF roundtable holds quarterly and this edition will host about 3000 investors, executives, and analysts from across the African startup ecosystem.

At the event, speakers will discuss Disruptive effects of the pandemic, A new reality of virtual working, Data privacy, innovation, diversity, and the regulatory landscape, Driving reliance on digital technology and collaboration tools; Customer-centricity, amongst others.

These topics would be dissected by Mr Alex-Adedipe, Managing Partner, Messrs Duale Ovia and Alex-Adedipe Law firm; Dr Obadare Peter Adewale, Co-Founder, Digital Encode; MsSusanne Hannestad, CEO, Fintech Mundi; Ms Barbara Iyayi, CEO, Unicorn Growth Capital, among others.

Interested participants can register at https://hopin.com/events/africa-fintech-foundry to be a part of the AFF Roundtable.

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

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NCC Tutors Nigerians How to Tackle Flubot Malware

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Flubot Malware

By Sodeinde Temidayo David

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has alerted Nigerian telecom users of the existence of a new high-risk and extremely damaging malware called Flubot.

The NCC’s Director of Public Affairs, Mr Ikechukwu Adinde, said the malware is like every other malicious software and program designed specifically to disrupt, damage, or gain unauthorized access to a computer system.

“When Flubot infects a device, it can result in incalculable financial losses. Additionally, the malware creates a backdoor which grants access to the user’s device, thus enabling the invader or attacker to perform other criminal actions, including launching other variants of malware,” he said.

Information from the Nigeria Computer Emergency Response Team (ngCERT) revealed that Flubot malware targets androids with fake security updates and app installations.

The Flubot impersonates android mobile banking applications to draw fake web views on targeted applications, and its goal transcends stealing personal data and essentially targets stealing of credit card details or online banking credentials.

This malware can also be circulated through Short Message Service (SMS) and can snoop on incoming notifications, initiate calls, read or write SMSes, and transmit the victim’s contact list to its control centre.

It attacks Android devices by pretending to be FedEx, DHL, Correos, and Chrome applications and compels unsuspecting users to alter the accessibility configurations on their devices in order to maintain a continuous presence on devices.

The new malware damages the security of devices by copying fake login screens of prominent banks, and the moment the users enter their login details on the fake pages, their data is collected and transmitted to the malware operators’ control point.

This control quarter is where the data is exploited by intercepting banking-related One Time Passwords (OTPs) and replacing the default SMS app on the targeted Android device.

The malware is also capable of securing access into the device through SMS and proceeds to transmit similar messages to other contacts that may be on the device it has attacked, enticing them into downloading the fake app.

In a bid to tackle this malicious action, protect millions of telecom consumers and prevent criminal forces from using telecom platforms to execute fraud and complete damages, the NCC also listed measures to guard against attacks from Flubot.

Telecom users are expected not to install any app or security update following a page request, also not to click on any link when they receive a suspicious text message.

Users should also consider the use of updated antivirus software that detects and prevents malware infections, and apply critical patches to the system and application.

Also, the use of strong passwords and enabling Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) over logins should be embraced.

Data should be Backed-up regularly, and if affected by this campaign, victims should reset their device to factory mode as soon as possible as this will delete any data on your phone, including personal data.

According to the NCC, backups made after installing the malicious program should not be restored, and victims may contact ngCERT platform for technical assistance.

Infected personnel will also need to change the passwords to all of y online accounts, with urgency, around online bank accounts.

If anyone has concerns that their accounts may have been accessed by unauthorized people, they are advised to contact their bank immediately.

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Interswitch Unveils Report on Future of Africa’s Digital Economy

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Digital Economy Policy

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

A report aimed to help drive the growth of African businesses through blockchain technology has been unveiled by Interswitch Group, a leading integrated digital payment and e-commerce company on the continent.

The whitepaper titled Blockchain Technology: The Future of Africa’s Digital Economy, according to the Managing Director of Transaction Switching and Payment Processing at Interswitch, Mr Akeem Lawal, “was inspired by the need to demystify the ambiguity around blockchain technology for African businesses, thereby driving digitization and socio-economic growth across African markets.”

“We are passionate about empowering Africans and advancing the African payment landscape, and we are consistently identifying opportunities and exploring innovative ways to enable businesses to transform and scale,” he added.

Blockchain technology is a digital ledger that stores transactions. Essentially, it is a digital system for recording transactions in multiple places at the same time thereby making it impossible to falsify the data stored on it. The technology is evolving globally and businesses are integrating Blockchain technology into their business infrastructure.

The whitepaper document released by Interswitch contains details on how businesses can leverage blockchain technology to transform their businesses and the prospects it portends for the future of Africa’s digital economy.

Mr Lawal disclosed that the document encapsulates the benefits of blockchain technology and how it will help strengthen businesses because of its efficiency, better security in keeping records and safety.

“While the blockchain technology is a relatively new phenomenon in Nigeria and Africa, we are particularly excited about our partnership with Interstellar with whom we are developing a native blockchain infrastructure that is tailored to suit the African market,” he stated.

“This initiative will deepen digital payment, lower the cost of local and cross border payment as well as champion the cause for localization of emerging technology,” Mr Lawal assured.

He urged everyone to read the whitepaper document because it addresses existing challenges in the Fintech sector and simplifies the use of blockchain technology in unravelling these challenges.

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Google Thrills Android Lovers With Pixel 6, Pixel 6 Pro

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Pixel 6 Pro

By Ashemiriogwa Emmanuel

It is an exciting moment for Andriod and Pixel lovers as Google is set to reveal its new Pixel 6 and 6 pro phones in a few hours’ time.

While the multinational technology company traditionally holds an October hardware event to reveal its new Pixel phones, it is a new thing that it had already announced this year’s innovations to be unveiled.

“On October 19, we’re officially introducing you to Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro—the completely reimagined Google phones. Powered by Tensor, Google’s first custom mobile chip, they’re fast, smart, and secure. And they adapt to you. #Pixel6Launch,” the company had earlier disclosed.

However, the excitement from fans all over the globe seems to be below expectation given that a lot has already been learned about the upcoming Google flagship, thanks to some leaks on the key details of the phones which have been in circulation before now.

There are no confirmations on what the new products will function like, but various leaks have it that the regular Pixel 6 is set to have a 6.4-inch FHD+ display with a 90Hz refresh rate.

It has also been speculated to sport a 50MP main camera and a 12MP ultrawide, while the Pixel 6 Pro ups the ante with a 6.71-inch QHD+ display with a 120Hz refresh rate and a third 48MP telephoto camera with 4x optical zoom.

Regardless, the introduction of the two new versions will see not only a significant departure from previous Pixels but also Google’s first attempt at its own silicon & Artificial Intelligence – a revolutionary outcome for Android users.

What has been confirmed is that the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro will be the flagship devices for the latest Android version – 12, which also has a major visual design change.

The event which is themed Pixel Fall Launch will not only focus on the introduction of Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro as there is room for surprises, that is, the unveiling of sister gadgets or applications.

According to Google, the launch is scheduled to commence at 10 a.m. PT / 1 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. BST. This means that for West African Time, it will be watchable starting from 6 pm today, and can be viewed on several platforms using various live-stream options.

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