The Nigerian army Cyber Warfare Command is racing around the clock literally everyday to stay ahead of malignant forces using cyberspace to carry out attacks against the Nigerian state.
In todays world, the art of outrightly invading a country world war two style is outdated. It’s just too costly in lives and material. It requires billions of dollars to pull off and the certain death of hundreds or thousands. The political and diplomatic, and even economic capital required makes such a venture too costly.
The first shot of the next war actual war will likely be in cyberspace. The ambiguity of cyber warfare makes it all the more deadly. For examples one need not look further than here in Africa. False flag operations and propaganda with doctored footages of Muammar Gaddafi bombing his own people with napalm bomb was all that was needed to convince the citizens of the United States and France that they destruction of Libya was a righteous cause. There was no counter-narrative. Africa today is still reeling from the destabilizing effect of the 2011 NATO bombing of Libya.
Here in Nigeria the moment the army starts making huge gains in its campaign against Boko Haram, the human rights group Amnesty International rears its ugly head with unsubstantiated and emotionally laced accusations against the Nigerian army and airforce.
The costs of this information/disinformation warfare targeted at Nigeria has been very costly for Nigeria. Several arms deal agreement have been cancelled because of purported allegations of rights abuses, significantly delaying Nigeria’s war effort and giving terrorist groups the respite they need to reinforce their ranks and stage a comeback.
But things are changing
Up until now, our brave hearts were responsible for protecting the borders of the country. But now the army realizes it has a new and unique challenge, cyber criminals, propaganda and fake news. To curtail this rising information attacks, the Nigerian army in October 2018 setup a Cyber Warfare Command. The first of its kind in all of Africa.
The Cyber Command will keep a tab on criminal activities that could compromise their data in the cyberspace and counter propaganda and fake news with digital evidence.
The Nigerian army decided to establish the Nigerian Army Cyber Warfare Command to empower the service with the capability to protect its data networks against cyber attacks and hostile elements.
The Cyber Operations Centre will also enable a robust online presence so as to fight fake news targeted at the Nigerian army with counter-narrative and cyber operations. Therefore they must equip themselves with digital capabilities and forensic capabilities and be able to handle cases of smear campaigns and generate immediate incidence response.
The Nigerian Army Cyber Warfare Command is the first in all of Africa. No other army in Africa and few armies in the world has a Cyber Warfare Command.
Cyberspace can be easily exploited for information warfare by actors with malicious intent to plant and disseminate fake news and pay people to spread online manipulated content
The Nigerian Army Cyber Warfare Command work alongside its sister service like the Nigerian Air Force Geospatial Intelligence Data Centre and the Nigerian Navy Falcon Eye Monitoring Centre to foster an atmosphere of interoperability and paint a picture of what resource each service has and how they can attack the problem together.
Nigerian Air Force Geospatial Intelligence Data Centre
Nigerian Navy Falcon Eye Monitoring Centre
Cyber Space Conflict is the latest and deadliest mode of warfare, the others being land, sea and air. The Nigerian army is determined to dominate the Cyber Warfare domain in order to project Nigeria into a high-tech 21st century fighting force.