By *Ambrose Bernard Gowong*
The Information Management Syestem of the National Open University is consistently under attack by cyber hackers, vice chancellor of the university Professor Abdalla Uba Adamu has said.
Adamu was speaking in Abuja today while playing host to leaders of different NGO’s under the auspices of Coalition of Civil Society Groups led by Ambassador Splendor Obakolor who were on a fact finding mission to the university.
Professor Adamu said “On three occasion, concentrated denial of service attack was launched on our servers located in the United States and we had to keep changing from one location to another. People tend to complain about NOUN without knowing we’re under attack from cyber hackers”.
Professor Adamu added that fraudsters have also taken to the creation of so many websites to defraud unsuspecting students of the university. “Suddenly other websites started appearing like http://www.noun.com.ng. This has nothing to do with us, but it has our logo, picture and our design style. It was operated by a woman in Port Harcourt and we traced her”.
Adamu said the suspect who had since been apprehended by authorities created that site with a specific bank account number urging students to pay certain amount of money.
The vice chancellor added that another format of cyber attack was recorded recently were “another person got an exploit through the back door of our website and created a form in which he asked students of their name, email address, card number, date of expiration and most importantly three digit code and will ask you to submit, and when you submits nothing happens and people starts to complain but the truth is that that is not our website. Ninety unsuspecting students had fallen into that trap so far”.
“People tend to complain about NOUN without knowing we are under attack from various angles, and we have never, ever said our portal is perfect. The reason why our portal cannot be perfect is because it rely on other third party like remita. We have to interface with remita, and if remita shakes we also shake but people don’t see that”.
Professor Adamu further explained that “These attacks were anticipated as the management is always working round the clock to nib in the bud activities of these attacks”.
The Vice Chancellor then reiterated the management resolve of being open about its activities and complying with the freedom of information act “but what we will not accept is intimidation and threats about what we do because we are here to serve public interest above individual”, he concluded.
Earlier, leader of the coalition of civil society groups Ambassador Splendor Obakolor said they were on a fact finding mission in NOUN to ascertain the true picture of what is causing the general misgivings among students with regards to the school breakdown and creation of multiple portals.
Ambassador Obakolor also used the medium to appeal to the management to always supply sufficient information about any issue regarding the school to the public utilizing all platforms available.