Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA)

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NITDA Advises Nigerians On Ransomware Attacks

The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) being an Agency under the Federal Ministry of Communications, created in April 2001 to implement the Nigerian Information Technology Policy and coordinate general IT development and regulation in the country, sent an alert to the Nigerian public on the Ransomware Attacks.  In addition, to advising government on how to enhance the security of the nation, NITDA works  with critical stakeholders to come up with ways in which the Nigerian cyberspace can be adequately protected. Nigerians are called to support the Agency by doing their best at protecting themselves as well as the information and systems under their care.

On the 13th of May, 2017, The Management of National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), headed by Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, Director General/CEO, brought to the attention of Nigerians, the recent cyber-attack that was affecting computers across the world – the ransomeware attack. This attack, known as “WannaCry” or “WannaCrypt”, spreads by itself between computers and does not require human interaction. It restricts access to the affected system as well as demanding for payment of a ransom. As of that date, it was reported that the attack, had affected over 150 countries and 200,000 machines.

The ransomware attack was reported as exploiting vulnerabilities in the Microsoft Windows Operating System, especially those not currently supported such as Windows XP, Windows 8 and Windows Server 2003. Microsoft released a patch for the vulnerability in March and machines that were updated with the patch would have been automatically protected.

For infected systems, remedies were outlined to prevent further spread and the recommended line of actions were:

      Remove the system from Network;

      Do not use flash/pen drive, external drives on the System to copy files to other systems;

      Format the System completely and get fresh OS copy installed; and

      Contact NITDA Computer Emergency Readiness and Response Team (CERRT) for assistance. They can be reached via telephone on 0800-9988-7766-5544 or e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Individuals and organisations were advised to:

      Regularly update their operating systems with the latest patches;

      Regularly update their software applications with latest patches;

      Avoid downloading and opening unsolicited files and attachments;

      Adjust security software to scan compressed or archived files; and

      Avoid indiscriminate use wireless connections, such as Bluetooth or infrared ports.

 https://nitda.gov.ng/2017/05/15/nitda-advises-mdas-and-others-on-ransomware-attacks/

NiRA ACADEMY TRAINING

NiRA Academy and Resource Centre was established by Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA) with responsibility to develop knowledge and bridge the gap in the knowledge base of the DNS Industry in Nigeria, and extend same to the rest of Africa.

The NiRA Academy mounted some trainings in May 2017, such as “DNS Administration and Management Workshop”, “DNS for Law Enforcement Agencies” and technical training for newly accredited NiRA Registrars.

For the DNS Administration and Management Workshop, the five day training programme started on Monday 8th May, 2017. The objective of this workshop was for the participants to have a good knowledge of the Domain Name System (DNS) Administration and Management.

The participants were exposed to sessions on the DNS ecosystem, domain and zones, Registry/Registrar Operations, NiRA WHOIS, NiRA Policies, Domain Naming convention, DNS basics, hands on DNS, General IT Security Considerations, etc.

The DNS for Law Enforcement Agencies workshop was to enlighten the Law Enforcement Agencies (LEA) on the workings of the Domain Name System and the inherent dangers of the Internet. A cyber-attack on the DNS could impact crime reports, investigations and external communication. The DNS is vulnerable to power and network outages. The workshop was carried out to encourage the LEA to step up their online security as LEAs are the primary target of cyber criminals and hackers.

The programme took place on 17th and 18th of May 2017 and was well attended.  The participants were exposed to sessions on Internet Governance, DNS ecosystem, security and privacy on the net, cybersecurity and cybercrime investigations etc. There was a hands-on session on investigating cybersecurity.

 

The 2017 .ng Media College event is slated for 21st June 2017 with the theme “The Role of Media in the DNS Industry”. The .ng Media College event is the annual free training session for the Ladies and Gentlemen of the Media.

FREELANCING

A freelance worker is a self-employed person offering services to multiple clients at a time. The type of work varies. Every type of service required by any business can be provided by a freelancer at a cost/fee. Some freelancing jobs pay hourly rates to the extent that freelancers earn full time wages or more. A freelancer can set hourly rates which are often higher than the freelancer would earn as salary for the same job.

The regularity of the freelance work can vary. Many work for the same clients over a period of time whilst others work on specific projects. Some of the services include providing web programming and design, social media marketing, copywriting, publicity, interpreter/translator, multimedia artist, writing articles and blog posts, creative works, etc. Freelancing is something you can start today with next to zero up-front investment. And if you take the time to master a specialized, in-demand skill – you can easily earn good money every month. Some people start freelancing with after office hours’ jobs to earn additional source of income.

Freelancing provides one the opportunity to work from home full time. The hours of work of a Freelancer are flexible and a freelancer can set his/her own work hours/days on projects of choice.  It is good to note that freelancing is different from owning your own business as a freelancer provides services and do not hire other people to do the work.

Although freelance world is very robust globally, it is arguably seen as a fiercely competitive marketplace. Many Nigerians have joined the league of those who offer their skilled services online. Several websites advertise these jobs. Freelancers also visit these websites to offer their services, of course for a fee.

Through freelancing, some businesses achieve more results. Freelancing makes it fast, simple, and cost-effective to find, hire, work with, and pay the best professionals anywhere, any time.

A FEW OF THE MOST IN-DEMAND FREELANCE POSITIONS are listed as:

     Computer Programing

     Graphic Design

     Article Writing

     Internet Marketing

     Customer Service

     Website Design

     Domain Name Reselling

The online freelancing industry is a generous provider of work for people. With specialized skills that can provide solutions to a task or problem, freelancing is opportunity to rake in extra money.  There are lots of people out there searching for experts in one field or the other; you should grab the opportunity without delay. You must also protect your freelance work. To be successful, you need to be proactive and constantly search for clients, diversify your income, consider when work can dry up, advertise, grow your network, etc. 

Building our ROME: Let us stay positive about Nigeria and .ng

I have a lot of speaking engagements talking about the Nigerian ccTLD .ng. I also write a lot about it, and I know you read from me, through this bi-weekly enewsletter.

Sometimes, journalists take what I say or write and turn them into stories. This is very helpful for spreading the .ng goodies and indeed, I do not mind the stories, I however mind when the facts are distorted to achieve some other aim, eg dragging our dear country, Nigeria down.

 Take this online story as a case:

https://qz.com/967944/nigerians-would-rather-have-a-com-web-address-than-ng-and-not-just-because-its-cheaper/

The journalist could have done a little bit more work to end up with a more balanced story, and this is why:

1. I read sarcasm in the write-up ... I read "What is there to be proud of in Nigeria?". I think we should educate those who think there is nothing about Nigeria to be proud of. Very many people are proud of .ng and NIRA and we will always excuse those who are not.

2. There are no "New TLDs" mentioned in the story. NTLDs such as .xyz, .pro, etc. If the writer had included any of those NTLDs, as well as other African Country TLDs, like .MW for Malawi, .MU for Mauritius, .KE for Kenya etc, it will be clear that .ng is not expensive.

3. The Article compares .ng with com, net, biz, org. Indeed it should compare .com.ng, .net.ng etc to those domains. It should then compare .ng to new GTLDs like .PRO, .XYZ etc. The article was very silent on the price of .com.ng in comparison to .co.za or even co.uk.

4. The article did not recognize the fact that .ng is available for registration now, but no one can register under .za or .ke. It is strictly co.za and or.ke for now. The UK opened up .uk in 2014, .us is not available for registration.

5. .com, .net, .org etc have been in existence for over 20 years, with hundreds of millions of domains. The unit cost is very low for them now. As a Country code Top level domain, .ng cannot play any price war now, just to push up numbers, because we have Infrastructure to maintain and staff to pay. The .ng pricing is purely based on the running costs, since NIRA is not-for-profit.

6. NIRA has a price charter that already details the price of domains, as the numbers increase. This guarantees that with volume, the unit prices will drop lower. The Article could have used this information, which is available at the same source that the attribution made to me, was taken from.

Friends, We must begin to tell the .ng story the way it should be told. We must balance our eagerness to see .ng everywhere, with the reality that not everyone understands what we are, what we do and how we do it.

I look forward to welcoming the author of that story and a number of his colleagues to the upcoming .ng Media College, a bi-annual event where the DNS business is discussed with the Press. 

 

I remain at your service.

 

Rev’d Sunday Folayan

President, NIRA Executive Board

 

 

NiRA 2017 AGM Highlights

The Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA) held its 9th Annual General Meeting (AGM) Friday 28th May 2017. The AGM is a yearly meeting of the members (General Assembly) to receive from the Executive Board an Annual Report, the Financial Statements for the preceding financial year, the Auditor's report on those statements and a Business Plan and Budget for adoption or amendment. It is also an avenue to elect members of The Executive Board, should there be a vacancy.

In the President’s statement to the Members, he reported on the membership growth of the Association and growth in the number of registered .ng domain names from a modest 22,100 domains in April 2015 to cross the mark of 75,000 domains in December 2016, making the .ng ccTLD the second fastest growing Registry in Africa.

His statement also noted an upgrade in the Registry’s infrastructure and International relations with the Kenyan and South African Registries. He acknowledged the contribution of the Nigerian Media and the almost daily endorsement of the .ng brand by the Guardian Newspapers in the print media. He also noted the .ng advertisement on the BRT Buses plying the Ikorodu – CMS route in 2016 in NiRA’s quest to popularize the .ng domain.

This year’s AGM was very interesting. Amongst the highlight was the election of five (5) members into the Executive Board and other activities such as the presentation of the Annual Report, presentation of the Financial report, Business plan and budget for 2017.

At the end of the keenly contested election, the following members emerged winners: Mr. Biyi Oladipo as the Financial Secretary and Mrs. Yetunde Johnson as Treasurer and Dr. Eugene Ohu, Mrs. Nkem Nweke and Mr. Chukwuemeka Fred Agbata Jnr as members of the Executive Board of Directors. It is worthy of note that voting was online. This is the second year running that voting for members of the Executive Board was online.

 

 

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