Thursday, 13 May 2021 03:28

UK pledges £22m cyber security funding for Nigeria, others

United Kingdom Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab, has announced £22 million worth of investment to bolster cyber security capabilities in Nigeria and other developing countries as he warned hostile state actors and criminal gangs are using technology to undermine democracy.

Raab told the CyberUK conference that authoritarian regimes including North Korea, Iran, Russia and China are using digital technology “to sabotage and steal, or to control and censor”.

Speaking at the conference yesterday, Raab urged for international law to be respected in cyber space and concluded there is a need to clarify how rules around online activity are enforced.

The UK, jointly with Interpol, will set up a new cyber operations hub in Africa working across Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and Rwanda to support joint operations against cyber crime.

The £22 million of new funding is set to support cyber capacity in vulnerable countries, particularly in Africa and the Indo-Pacific, which will go towards supporting cyber response teams and online safety awareness campaigns.

“We can lead internationally in protecting the most vulnerable countries and at the same time bring together a wider coalition of countries to shape international rules that serve the common good.”

In a speech four years on from the WannaCry ransomware attack, which hit the National Health States and affected hospitals across England and Scotland, Mr Raab said cyber criminals now also acted as a threat to democracy. He said: “There is also a democratic dimension to the threats that we see because elections are now a prime target. I think it’s worth saying these actors are the industrial-scale vandals of the 21st century. These hostile state actors, the criminal gangs, they want to undermine the very foundations of our democracy.”


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