​Ghana loses US$50m to cyber crime

​Ghana loses US$50m to cyber crime

Nigeria recorded the highest figure of US$550 million, followed by Kenya and Tanzania

A report by Kenyan-based IT firm, Serianu Limited, has revealed that the economy lost a total of US$50 million to cybercrime in 2016.

The report dubbed ‘Achieving Cyber Security Resilience: Enhancing Visibility and Increasing Awareness,’ shows that five African countries lost a combined US$895million to the menace–comprising an indirect loss of $537m and direct loss of $358m.

The breakdown of the report shows that Nigeria recorded the highest figure of US$550 million, followed by Kenya and Tanzania with US$175 million and US$85 million respectively. Ghana and Uganda also recorded US$50 million and US$35 million respectively.

The report further reveals that insider threats, which refer to fraud involving information or employee abuse of IT systems and information, are a bigger security threat compared to outsiders for African organisations.

Worryingly, the report states that mo

ons in Africa are ill-prepared to deal with information security threats.

“This is brought about by lack of sufficient budgets, lack of skilled professionals and lack of visibility within the organisation.

Security professionals are struggling to demonstrate business value to senior management because they are providing very technical operational metrics whereas business managers are looking for more business-oriented metrics.

Lack of practical regulatory guidance from industry regulators and government is leading to poorly implemented and unenforceable security controls since they are not local focused but rather copied and pasted regulations,” the Serianu report states.

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It is also reported that ICT security expenditure in African countries is estimated to grow from approximately US$1.24 billion in 2015 to US$3.6 billion in 2020.

To achieve this, the Serianu report recommends that African countries need to harden their infrastructure and services to enhance the resilience of the underlying foundation and combat information security threats.

“African countries need to enhance the security competencies of technology users and ICT security practitioners. This will ensure that there is greater adoption of essential security practices among technology users and ensure that ICT security practitioners have adequate knowledge and capability in managing ICT security risks.

Given the borderless nature of cyber threats, it is important for African countries to continue working closely with international counterparts and also encourage cross-border collaboration within the continent,” the report states.

Efforts by Ghana

It is reported that a good number of private and public companies in the country are not security conscious, thereby, making them susceptible to cyber-attacks.

The websites of the Vice President of Ghana, the National Communication Authority, and the National Information Technology Agency have all been compromised by hackers recently.

It is against this background that the Ministry of Communications in 2014 drafted the Ghana National Cyber Security Policy and Strategyto serve as a roadmap for securing the country’s cyberspace as well as to boost investors’ confidence. The policy was approved by cabinet in November last year

​Key senators say they have no evidence that Trump Tower was wiretappedwww.washingtonpost.com


Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr, R-N.C., right, and Committee Vice chairman Mark Warner, D-Va., left, listen on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017, as Director of National Intelligence-designate Dan Coats testifies at his confirmation hearing before the committee. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
The Republican and Democratic leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee joined the chorus of lawmakers stating they are not aware of any current evidence supporting President Trump’s claim that his campaign headquarters were wiretapped during the presidential election.
Committee Chairman Richard Burr (R-N.C.) on Thursday released a joint statement with the ranking Democrat, Sen. Mark Warner (Va.), stating that they have not seen data supporting Trump’s claim.
“Based on the information available to us, we see no indications that Trump Tower was the subject of surveillance by any element of the United States government either before or after Election Day 2016,” they said.
Burr and Warner are leading the Senate investigation into Russia’s suspected interference in the 2016 elections to aid Trump. They are also examining alleged ties between Trump aides and Russian officials. They were joined last week and again on Wednesday by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) — leading a similar investigation in the House — who also stated that he has not seen evidence to support the president’s complaint that his offices were wiretapped during the campaign.
Nunes, who served on Trump’s transition team, declared flatly Wednesday that there was no evidence that Trump Tower was wiretapped while Trump was a candidate.
“I don’t think there was an actual tap of Trump Tower,” Nunes said. He added that if you are taking Trump’s tweets literally — which he advised people not to do — then “clearly the president was wrong.”
Trump admitted Wednesday night in a Fox News interview that he had no solid proof that then-President Obama ordered surveillance of  phones at Trump Tower in New York during last fall’s campaign.
Trump said he based his accusation, which he leveled March 4 in a series of tweets, on a couple of news reports referencing wiretapping generally.
“I’ve been reading about things,” Trump said in an interview with Fox News Channel. Trump said that after noticing an article in the New York Times and commentary by Fox anchor Bret Baier, Trump said he told himself, “Wait a minute, there’s a lot of wiretapping being talked about.’”
In the interview with Fox host Tucker Carlson, Trump maintained that information would soon be revealed that could prove him right, but he would not explain what that information might be. He said he would be “submitting certain things” to a congressional committee investigating the matter and that he was considering speaking about the topic next week.
“I think you’re going to find some very interesting items coming to the forefront over the next two weeks,” Trump said.
Tensions have flared in recent days between lawmakers and the Justice Department on the subject of Russia — especially over FBI Director James B. Comey’s approach to providing Capitol Hill with information about the bureau’s probe into Russia’s activities in the 2016 campaign.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) is holding up the confirmation of deputy attorney general nominee Rod J. Rosenstein until Comey testifies before his committee on the scope of the FBI’s Russia probe. And Sens. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), leaders of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Crime and Terrorism subcommittee, sent Justice Department officials a letter last week asking for evidence of any wiretapping warrants or applications. Graham threatened Wednesday to subpoena that information.
Grassley became animated in an interview Wednesday in speaking on the subject.
“It doesn’t matter whether you have a Republican or Democrat president, every time they come up here for their nomination hearing . . . I ask them, ‘Are you going to answer phone calls and our letters, and are you going to give us the documents we want?’ And every time we get a real positive ‘yes’! And then they end up being liars!” Grassley said, screaming into the phone during an interview with The Washington Post.
“It’s not if they’re treating us differently than another committee. It’s if they’re responding at all.”
The tension could break into the open Monday during a House Intelligence Committee public hearing on Russia. The hearing will feature Comey and Adm. Mike Rogers, head of the National Security Agency. It will provide a rare chance for lawmakers to grill the FBI director and other officials in a public setting on the allegations that Russia intervened in the campaign in an attempt to tilt it toward Trump.
Phillip


Schwarzenegger for Senate?

http://www.politico.com

170309_schwarzenegger_white_house_gty_1160.jpgArnold Schwarzenegger’s entry into the 2018 Senate race “would give Arnold the stage to jam Trump for the next 16 months,’’ according to one veteran GOP strategist who spoke on condition of anonymity. | Getty
SAN FRANCISCO — Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger — the “Terminator” action hero who made “I’ll be back” one of filmdom’s most iconic phrases — may be mulling a political comeback, according to several GOP political insiders in California.
The prospect of Schwarzenegger’s return to elected politics in a 2018 U.S. Senate run — possibly as an independent — is generating increasing buzz in state Republican circles, fueled by the former governor’s seeming ability to get under the skin of President Donald Trump on social media.
The president’s caustic tweets about Schwarzenegger, the recent host of “Celebrity Apprentice,” and their running feud has sparked talk that the intensely competitive Schwarzenegger — a seven-time Mr. Olympia world bodybuilding champ — may be interested in more than merely a verbal posedown with Trump.
His entry into the 2018 Senate race — when Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein would be 85 years old and up for reelection — “would give Arnold the stage to jam Trump for the next 16 months,’’ according to one veteran GOP strategist who spoke on condition of anonymity.
It would also enable Schwarzenegger to draw a contrast with the president on key issues, including climate change, political reform and even immigration.
Schwarzenegger spokesman Daniel Ketchell did not rule out a possible Senate run when asked to respond to the speculation.
“Right now Gov. Schwarzenegger’s focus is on using his platform to bring some sensibility and coherency to Washington by fighting for redistricting reform, like we did in California,’’ Ketchell told POLITICO via email Thursday. “We are keeping all of our options open as far as how we can accomplish that.”
Schwarzenegger, who as governor pursued political reforms including the “top two” primary system and a redistricting commission, has recently launched a major drive to end gerrymandering, a tradition he argues has benefited only partisan politics and gridlock — not the voters.
On Facebook,Schwarzenegger has taken both parties to task on the issue, warning that “Republicans and Democrats are incredibly skilled at screwing over the voters — and keeping them in the dark about their trickery.”
The attacks on both major parties is leading some to suggest Schwarzenegger, a lifelong Republican, may be eyeing a future role as an independent candidate.
Longtime California politics watchers say a Schwarzenegger return to the political stage would be riveting — and is entirely plausible.
As a candidate, “he would become an instant player,’’ not only on political reform but also on his signature issue of “cap and trade and climate change,’’ said political analyst David McCuan of Sonoma State University. “[Schwarzenegger is] someone who could play a huge role if Republicans wanted any hope of having relevance in California.’’
Republicans currently lag Democrats by nearly 20 percentage points in voter registration in the state, having lost ground since Schwarzenegger held office from 2003 to 2011.
McCuan notes that, more than a decade before Trump’s presidential run, it was Schwarzenegger’s shocking 2003 recall victory in California — as a political outsider who issued a call to “Sweep Sacramento Clean’’ — that served as a template for political revolution.
“He was going to “Drain the Swamp” before Trump even had that language,’’ McCuan said.
But Schwarzenegger supported Ohio Gov. John Kasich in the Republican presidential primary and refused to vote for Trump in the general election. Trump returned the favor in January by mocking Schwarzenegger after the new “Apprentice” show debuted in early January, tweeting that it “got swamped” in the ratings.
The two have continued their running feud since then, with Schwarzenegger criticizing Trump for bypassing former California Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado for agriculture secretary and knocking Scott Pruitt, Trump’s nominee to head the Environmental Protection Agency, for leaving open the possibility that the administration could undermine California’s vehicle emission standards.
Schwarzenegger also ripped the president’s initial executive order barring citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States, calling aspects of its implementation “crazy.”
Last weekend, it was Trump’s turn to respond. In the same tweetstorm in which he accused former President Barack Obama of tapping his phones, Trump took a shot at Schwarzenegger.
“Arnold Schwarzenegger isn’t voluntarily leaving the Apprentice, he was fired by his bad (pathetic) ratings, not by me. Sad end to great show,” the president tweeted.
Bill Whalen, who served as speechwriter and strategist for former Gov. Pete Wilson, described a political climate in which Trump and Schwarzenegger would both disrupt and “feed off each other.”
For the president, he noted, tweeting about Schwarzenegger usually sends the media off on a distracted goose chase that draws attention away from more serious inquiries like Russia connections. For Schwarzenegger, the president’s attention “gives him relevance.”
But Whalen noted that a Schwarzenegger Senate run would have its own hurdles. “First, he’d have to get past Dianne Feinstein,’’ he said, noting that the challenges would be greater for an independent candidate under the top-two primary system that Schwarzenegger himself backed.
Veteran GOP political consultant Luis Alvarado, founder of California-based Luis Alvarado Public Affairs Consulting — and a strong #NeverTrump Republican voice leading up to the election — says the timing might be right for a Schwarzenegger political move.
“In politics after Donald Trump, nothing is crazy any longer. We’re in the third dimension here,’’ he said. “Arnold Schwarzenegger, who actually has more political experience than Trump, would certainly seem to fit a mold to what some of the electorate would find attractive.”
And the so-called Governator’s return to politics would be seen by many Republicans as “almost like a silver bullet” to counter the president, Alvarado said.
“Donald Trump has had the ability to manipulate all the news and cameras to him, and Arnold Schwarzenegger would be like kryptonite, or an anti-matter device, that would somehow restore balance in this universe of madness.”
By CARLA MARINUCCI.

South Korea’s Constitutional Court upholds President Park Geun-hye’s impeachment


Photo Park Geun-hye refused to testify in the impeachment trial. Wikimedia Commons: Korean Culture and Information Service
South Korea’s Constitutional Court has upheld the impeachment of President Park Geun-hye, removing her from office over a graft scandal involving big business that has gripped the country for months.
She becomes South Korea’s first democratically elected leader to be forced from office. 
A presidential election will be held in 60 days, according to the constitution.
More to come.