NIMC refutes data breach claims amid undersea cable cut disruption

The National Identity Management Commission,NIMC, has refuted claims that its database was compromised due to the undersea cable cut, which disrupted services of banks and telecom operators in Nigeria.

The Head of Corporate Communications of NIMC, Mr. Kayode Adegoke, issued a statement in Abuja reassuring Nigerians of the safety and protection of their data. The statement came in response to reports from some media sections regarding an alleged breach of citizens’ data by a private organization, XpressVerify. NIMC expressed gratitude to media partners and whistleblowers for bringing the issue to their attention and assured Nigerians and legal residents that there was no data breach of any sort. They emphasized that citizens’ data is safe and secure in Nigeria’s National Identity Database.

The Director-General of NIMC, Abisoye Coker-Odusote, promptly ordered a comprehensive investigation into the matter to determine if any of the Commission’s Tokenisation verification agents had breached the licensing agreement directly or through any sub-licenses. She emphasized the top-level security measures in place to protect the NIN and other personal data of every citizen and legal resident. NIMC reaffirmed its unwavering dedication to safeguarding, securing, and responsibly managing the data entrusted to it. The commission stated its understanding of the critical importance of maintaining public trust and confidence in its operations and committed to upholding the highest standards of integrity and accountability.

Credible news reports that the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, stated that repair works are underway on the undersea cable cuts that caused equipment faults on major undersea cables along the West African Coast on Thursday, resulting in internet service disruption.

The West Africa Cable System, MainOne, and ACE sea cables, crucial for telecommunications data, were all affected on Thursday, causing outages and connectivity issues for mobile operators and internet service providers in the region.

READ ALSO: NIMC and NCC collaborate to enhance NIN-SIM linkage process

MainOne stated on Friday that an “external incident” caused a cut to its cable system in the Atlantic Ocean, offshore Cote D’Ivoire along the coast of West Africa, ruling out human activity as a cause.

“Our preliminary analysis suggests some form of seismic activity on the seabed resulted in a break to the cable,” MainOne stated, adding that it would gather more data when the cable is retrieved during repair. Given the distance from land, and the cable depth of about 3 kms (1.86 miles) at the point of fault, any kind of human activity – ship anchors, fishing, drilling etc has been immediately ruled out,” Reuters quoted MainOne as saying.

 

The incident negatively impacted data and fixed telecom services in several countries of West Africa, including Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal, Côte D’Ivoire, among others. The NCC stated that the operators of the damaged cables had begun repairs, indicating that internet services were gradually being restored.

 

“Cable companies such as the West African Cable System, WACS, and African Coast to Europe (ACE) in the West Coast route from Europe have experienced faults, while SAT3 and MainOne have downtime. Similar undersea cables providing traffic from Europe to the East Coast of Africa, like Seacom, Europe India Gateway, EIG,  and Asia-Africa-Europe 1 , AAE1, are reported to have been cut at some point around the Red Sea, resulting in degradation of services across these routes.

 

“In Nigeria and other West African countries, Internet access and speed have experienced disruptions in the networks of service providers in the affected countries,” the NCC stated in the release.

 

Credible news.ng

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