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Power Bit Crunchers, Zeena Platform Win Lagos Smart Meter Hackathon

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Lagos Smart Meter Hackathon

By Adedapo Adesanya

Power Bit Crunchers and Zeena Platform have emerged victorious in the Hardware and Software categories of the Lagos Smart Meter Hackathon held last Friday.

Both winners emerged from the 3-day final of the competition organised by the Lagos State Ministry of Energy & Mineral Resources in collaboration with Eko Innovation Centre.

The winners have earned combined prize money of N10 million. In addition, the winners and runners-up in both categories will get working space at the Eko Innovation Centre while all 10 finalists will get mentorship opportunities among other consolation prizes.

The Power Bit Crunchers (the hardware team winners) were represented by Mr Olonma Ibrahim and Mr Peter Okonma while Mr Oluwasemi Oreoluwa and Mr Adenitire Ayonikun represented the software team at the event.

Speaking at the announcement ceremony at the Eko Innovation Centre, Ikoyi, Lagos, the Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, said: “Today is a true hallmark in our administration’s pursuit to improve the welfare of our people. As you are aware, a key pillar of our administrations T.H.E.M.E.S agenda is to make Lagos a 21st-century economy and this Lagos Smart Meter Hackathon fits perfectly as it combines innovation, creativity, and local capacity to deliver solutions that will improve access to electricity in Lagos.”

He said further that the settings, the mood, and the aura at the ceremony “inspires creativity and innovation, and that he saw in the participants vibrant energetic youthfulness “that inspires hope of brighter and bigger roles that technology and digitization would play in the country.”

He noted that the result of the initiative would drive local capacity that would find homegrown solutions to solve challenges, which he considers a great move in transforming the electricity sector in the state.

Mr Sanwo-Olu promised that his administration would continue to support this initiative and that the outcomes of today’s programme have inspired his administration to do even more to drive local capacity and find homegrown solutions while taking advantage of global opportunities to solve our challenges.

He said, “The young people in Lagos and Nigeria have proven to be hardworking and brilliant and we will do all we can to support them through our various ministries, agencies, enabling policies and incentives.”

He urged the participants to continue to persevere and improve, as his administration, through mentorship and other incentives, will be willing to support innovation.

“Everyone is a winner; someone must just be declared winner to fulfil all righteousness. The Lagos State government is always ready and elated to support and collaborate in creative and innovative ideas that would improve living standards and grow the economy,” he said.

Also speaking at the event, Mrs Doja Ekeruche, Advisory Board Member of Eko Innovation Centre, disclosed that curating the hackathon was in line with the centre’s purpose of leveraging innovation and technology in solving poverty and other challenges in Africa.

She stated further that the output of the Hackathon will contribute significantly to solving the challenges of the power sector, while also serving as an inspiration to local tech-talents in Nigeria to develop innovative solutions that will transform the future of Nigeria.

Although Lagos State government initially committed the sum of N7 million to appreciate the winners for their efforts before progressing to commercialisation, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu; Mr Kola Balogun, Chairman, MOMAS Electricity Meters Manufacturing Company Limited; and Mr Bunmi Akinyemiju, CEO, Venture Garden Group, all contributed N1 million each to raise the total prize money to N10 million. Mrs Chantelle Abdul, CEO MOJEC International also contributed N2 million for the runners-up.

Launched on July 30, 2020, by the Lagos State Governor, the Smart Meter Hackathon is an initiative of the Lagos State Ministry of Energy & Mineral Resources and was aimed at providing affordable electricity meters to the populace by facilitating the design and production of meters that will accelerate efforts towards achieving improvement in energy distribution, monitoring and prevention of revenue leakage.

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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Nigeria’s Telecommunications Sector has Attracted $70bn Investments—NCC

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telecommunications sector has attracted

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

The Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Mr Umar Danbatta, has disclosed that the country’s telecommunications sector has attracted about $70 billion in investments.

In his keynote address delivered at a two-day International Conference of the Association of Media and Communication Researchers of Nigeria (AMCRON), the NCC chief described the industry as a critical component of the economy.

He also said these huge investments were made possible through the implementation of policies designed by the government to create enabling environment for stakeholders.

Speaking on the theme Influence of Communication Policies on Digital Revolution in Nigeria, Mr Danbatta stated that communication policies are essentially blueprints and strategies, marked by plans for the development of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in a way that nudges people to harness opportunities of the Fourth Industrial Revolution through the embrace of digital culture across sectors by individual, businesses and institutions.

According to him, this diligent implementation of various telecommunications policies, strategies and regulatory frameworks has continued to enhance the nation’s capacity to deepen citizens’ access to digital resources, transformed media and knowledge production and positively impacted Nigeria’s economic and social progress.

The NCC boss, represented by the agency’s Director of Research and Development, Mr Ismail Adedigba, while tracing the trajectory of growth in the telecoms industry from 1960 till date, said the past decades had witnessed formulation of various policies and laws for developing the industry, but remarkable growth in the sector started after the sector’s liberalization in 2001.

He said through diligent implementation of policies, vision plans and strategic regulatory frameworks by the NCC, in collaboration with relevant stakeholders in the industry, there is increased access to digital services, and the media industry is being shaped in terms of patterns of information dissemination through multiple platforms while the digital revolution has revealed a new vista of research areas for scholars in the field of mass communication.

“Today, the active telecom subscribers have grown significantly to 212.2 million from about 400,000 aggregate telephone lines in the country as of 2000, on the eve of liberalisation. This represents a teledensity of 111 per cent. Basic Internet subscriptions grew from zero ground to 152.7 million now, while broadband subscriptions stand at over 86 million, representing a 45.09 per cent penetration as of July 2022.

“The industry has also become a major contributor to our national economy, with the ICT industry contributing 18.94 per cent to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as of the second quarter of 2022, according to the latest data released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). From this, the telecommunications sector alone contributed 15 per cent to GDP.

“The ICT contribution to GDP is, by far, the second largest contributor to the national economy aside from the agriculture sector. From less than $500 million investment in 2001, the investment profile in the nation’s telecommunications sector has also surpassed $70 billion. The telecommunication sector has also created direct and indirect jobs for millions of Nigerians to date,” Danbatta said in his keynote speech,” he said.

Mr Danbatta expressed hope that just as the liberalisation policies have worked quantifiably for Nigeria’s progress, yielding exponential results, the commission is committed to the implementation of the various extant economic recovery plans, digital economy policies, the national broadband plan as well as strategic management plans which have been streamlined in NCC Strategic Vision Plans.

The EVC promised that the NCC would continue to ensure more quantum leaps and retain its current leadership role in the telecommunications space to lead Nigeria into the next level of development.

“To achieve this, the NCC will continue to strengthen collaboration with the media professionals and communication research-focused bodies such as AMCRON, towards creating an environment where stakeholders can leverage digital infrastructure to achieve greater efficiency in what they do,” he said.

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UN Tasks Africa on Internet Infrastructure for Inclusive, Sustainable Growth

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By Adedapo Adesanya

The United Nations has urged African countries to invest in building resilient internet infrastructure to tap digital opportunities and accelerate social and economic transformation on the continent.

This is as global leaders attending the 17th Internet Governance Forum being held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, underscored the importance of digital technologies as tools for enhancing development across Africa.

The UN Secretary-General, Mr Antonio Guterres, told participants that while digital technologies were transforming lives and livelihoods, they were outpacing regulations and exacerbating inequalities around the world.

He called for a human-centred digital future based on a resilient internet that is open, inclusive, and secure for all, in line with his proposed Global Digital Compact. The proposed Global Digital Compact aims to deliver universal connectivity, close the digital divide and reach the millions of people who are not connected to the internet.

“The safe, secure human-centred digital space begins with the protection of free speech, freedom of expression, and the right to online autonomy and privacy,” said Mr Guterres, emphasizing that governments, private companies, and social media platforms have a responsibility to prevent online bullying and misinformation that undermines democracy, human rights, and science.

“We need to work for a safe, equitable, and open digital future that does not infringe on the privacy or dignity,” Mr Guterres urged.

On his part, the Acting Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), Antonio Pedro, said reducing the digital divide is essential to building new pathways for rapid economic growth, innovation, job creation, and access to services in Africa.

“Harmonizing regulations to remove barriers to connectivity both within African nations and across the continent is crucial,” said Mr Pedro, explaining that harmonized regulations will facilitate the operationalization of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). The AfCFTA is key to Africa’s food and energy security and fosters competitiveness through economies of scale and improved market access.

Statistics show that an estimated 871 million people are not connected to the internet in Africa, and access is even limited in rural areas. Though 70 per cent of Africa’s population technically has access to mobile internet, less than 25 per cent are making use of the internet due to the high cost of mobile internet across the region, Mr Pedro noted.

“The lack of digital and literacy skills is another key barrier to achieving digital inclusion,” said Mr Pedro, adding that “These skills gaps have been further exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, where the expansion of online education, e-healthcare, e-commerce, and remote work, have left a large portion of the population without internet access even further behind.”

He said the need for meaningful digital connectivity to boost sustainable development, particularly for the Least Developing Countries (LDCs), has never been more urgent. Despite this, Africa has made some progress in promoting digital access.

“Now is the time to double down on our effort to close the digital infrastructure gap and to leverage digital technologies to power key initiatives in support of achieving a greener and more inclusive digital world and a just and sustainable development for all, “said Mr Pedro, remarking that a multi-sectoral approach in realizing a resilient and unfragmented internet in Africa was key.

“The implementation of digital technologies should progressively and continually mirror key principles of inclusion, representation and accessibility… Private sector involvement in spurring digital development, specifically infrastructure development, will leapfrog socio-economic development,” Mr Pedro underscored.

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Top Cybersecurity Projects

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cybersecurity projects

Introduction

Cybersecurity projects are a great way to learn more about the field and build your portfolio. They can also be fun, challenging, and rewarding—especially when you get to see what you made in action! In this article, we’ll go over some of our favorite cybersecurity projects that will help you start your journey into the industry.

The ethical hacker course from Knowledgehut will help you learn about the latest commercial-grade hacking tools, techniques, and methodologies. Pursue the course to develop cutting-edge skills and explore proven techniques and best practices to begin your career in ethical hacking.

Important Cybersecurity Projects

Some of the important cybersecurity projects are discussed below:

NetSecFocus

NetSecFocus is a community-driven cybersecurity project created as a collection of tools and resources for network security professionals. It uses open-source software where possible, with licensed content available under various licenses. The project is open to contributions from anyone interested in improving the platform by adding new features or reporting bugs.

As a GitHub repository, NetSecFocus provides source code that can be used to build your copy of the site (or just browse it online). The website is hosted using GitHub Pages to promote collaboration by making it easy for any contributor to update content on their computer before pushing changes back into central repositories shared with other contributors.

Kali Linux

Linux distribution Kali Linux was designed to be used for digital forensics and penetration testing, and it is derived from Debian. In addition to Kali Linux, Offensive Security Ltd. also develops commercial counterparts such as BlackArch and BackBox to address security concerns. It is based on Debian’s testing branch, yet at the time of writing, it was updated every three months.

The development team aims to not only provide new features but also fix bugs that they’re aware of or reported through bug trackers in each update release. Kali recently changed its name from BackTrack; both names are being used interchangeably within this article because they essentially refer to the same thing: an OS distribution with lots of hacking tools preinstalled (for example, Metasploit).

Capsule8

Capsule8 is a cloud-based security platform that provides visibility into and protection against threats in the data center. The platform enables you to protect containers, applications, and infrastructure with automatic threat detection, vulnerability scanning, and continuous monitoring of your entire containerized environment. Capsule8 can also monitor your existing Kubernetes clusters, providing security for both new and existing deployments.

Capsule8 provides a single pane of glass for security across your entire infrastructure. Capsule8’s container-native platform enables you to automatically detect and respond to threats in real time, including vulnerabilities, malware, and data breaches. You can also use Capsule8 to continuously monitor your environment for signs of compromise and remediate issues before they become serious problems.

Metasploit Framework

The Metasploit Framework is a tool that helps you find and exploit security vulnerabilities in networks. It is a framework that security professionals, penetration testers, and hackers can use. HD Moore created the Metasploit Framework in 2003 to help automate tasks for network administrators and security consultants, but it has since been expanded to include a huge community that contributes code and new modules all the time.

The Metasploit Framework allows you to write your scripts, called modules. These can be used to perform a wide range of tasks, from scanning for vulnerabilities in a network to exploiting those vulnerabilities and gaining access. The software also comes with a database of pre-written tools that can be used right away.

SUBgraph OS

SUBgraph OS is a Linux-based operating system designed to be resistant to cyberattacks. It was developed by a team of security researchers, who are also the founders of SUBnet Labs, which developed SUBgraph OS as part of their research into information security. The developers describe SUBgraph as “a privacy-focused operating system” protected by “hosted virtualization” and an “isolated hypervisor.”

It means that while it’s based on the Linux kernel like other operating systems (such as Ubuntu), it doesn’t share any code with those other systems. It uses virtualization to create an isolated container where dangerous processes cannot access your data on the hard drive.

Google Grr

Google Grr is a collection of tools that help you detect and respond to advanced threats. The project was released in May 2018 by Google and MITRE with the intent to make the GRR tool available for Linux users.

The open-source GRR project (Github Repo) was created by Maxime Villard and inspired by an idea proposed by John Ellis during a talk at Defcon 2017 titled “Mountain Peak Performance: Achieving Enterprise Security at Scale.”

GRR is an open-source project that aims to provide a secure and reliable environment for anyone who uses Linux in their daily work. GRR is intended to be a complete solution that provides a secure and reliable environment while still being easy to use.

OpenCanary

OpenCanary is a free, open-source application security testing platform. It integrates with the Kubernetes API and the Prometheus monitoring system. OpenCanary can test applications for common vulnerabilities and misconfigurations by generating alerts if it detects something unusual happening in your application. In addition to its native runtime environment, OpenCanary supports other environments such as Slack, GCP Cloud Pub/Sub, AWS Lambda & Zappa.

The ethical hacker course will help you master the five steps of ethical hacking, including reconnaissance, gaining access, enumeration, maintaining access, and covering your tracks.

Cybersecurity projects to learn

  • NetSecFocus: A security training platform that teaches cybersecurity basics, so you can dive deeper into specific areas of interest.
  • Kali Linux: A Linux distribution used for penetration testing and security auditing because it contains hundreds of tools specifically designed for hacking, cracking, and information security research.
  • Capsule8: An agentless network security platform that provides real-time visibility into threats across applications and infrastructure devices to enable an adaptive response to attacks.
  • Metasploit Framework: An open-source framework used by many hackers for penetration testing purposes or simply checking whether their system has any vulnerabilities before being exploited by malicious actors online (or even by themselves).
  • SUBgraph OS: A secure operating system designed from the ground up using various open-source tools focused on privacy protection, including support for hardware-based memory encryption (Intel SGX).

Conclusion

There are many cybersecurity projects that can be carried out by a team of professionals. In conclusion, many different types of cybersecurity projects can be undertaken in your organization to ensure safety from cyberattacks and other threats. The best part about these solutions is that they can be implemented without any hassles or complications at all. Opt for the ethical hacker course offered by Knowledgehut and learn ethical hacking from scratch with the comprehensive course material to become a skilled ethical hacker.

FAQs

Q1. What are current trending topics in cybersecurity?

Ans. Photos, financial transactions, emails, and texts have more potential for posing a threat to individuals than they have ever been before. Viruses or malware installed on smartphones may be one of the trends that capture the attention of cybersecurity experts in 2023.

Q2. Which country is best in cybersecurity?

Ans. Three countries have the greatest capability when it comes to cyber surveillance: China, the United States, and Russia.

Q3. What are the most common cyber-attacks in 2022?

Ans. According to an analysis of attack vectors, credential theft remains the most common attack vector, followed by phishing, misconfigured clouds, and third-party vulnerabilities. When considering how long it takes to detect and contain each type of compromise, it becomes clear how important it is to prevent these attacks.

Q4. What is the largest hack in history?

Ans. In terms of cost and destructiveness, it is considered the biggest hack in history. This attack was apparently carried out by an Iranian attack group known as the cutting sword of justice. Iranian hackers retaliated against Stuxnet with the release of Shamoon. Saudi Aramco was impacted for months by the malware, which destroyed more than 35,000 computers.

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