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NCC Raises Alarm of New Vehicle Hacking Techniques

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Nigerian communications commission

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC)  has issued a warning to the public about a new hacking technique that allows hackers to access and hijack vehicles.

Investors King recalls a similar issue reported some months back on phone and telecom users’ cyberattack schemes that were detected by NCC’s Computer Security Incident Response Team.

Ikechukwu Adinde, NCC’s director of public affairs (DPA), made this known in a statement on Sunday in Abuja.

According to Adinde, the newest alert issued by the NCC’s Computer Security Incident Response Team (CSIRT) stated:

“The fact that car remotes were categorized as short-range devices that make use of Radio Frequency (RF) to lock and unlock cars informed the need to alert Nigerians on this emergent danger.

“The vulnerability is a Man-in-the-Middle (MitM) attack or, more specifically, a replay attack in which an attacker intercepts the RF signals normally sent from a remote key fob to the car.

“It manipulates these signals and re-sends them later to unlock the car at will.

“With this latest type of cyber-attack, it is also possible to manipulate the captured commands and re-transmit them to achieve a different outcome altogether.

“Multiple researchers disclosed a vulnerability, which is said to be used by a nearby attacker to unlock some Honda and Acura car models and start their engines wirelessly.

“The attack consists of a threat actor capturing the RF signals sent from your key fob to the car and resending these signals to take control of your car’s remote keyless entry system,” the advisory stated.

He did say, however, that the NCC-CSIRT has suggested certain preventative measures or solutions in the warning that car owners may use to avoid becoming victims.

The only way to avoid being affected, according to the commission’s cyber-alert unit, is to reset your key fob at the dealership.

“Besides, the affected car manufacturer may provide a security mechanism that will generate fresh codes for each authentication request, this makes it difficult for an attacker to ‘replay’ the codes thereafter.

“Additionally, vulnerable car users should store their key fobs in signal-blocking ’Faraday pouches’ when not in use.”

He urged automobile owners in these categories to choose Passive Keyless Entry (PKE) rather than Remote Keyless Entry (RKE), which would make it more difficult for an attacker to read the signal because crooks would need to be within close range to commit their crimes.

He further explained that the PKE is a vehicular safety feature that opens a door on approach or when the door handle is pulled when the user is in direct range to the car.

He further stated that when walking away or exiting the automobile, the user locks it.

He went on to say that the RKE system, on the other hand, is the industry standard for remotely enabling or disabling a vehicle’s doors and storage area.

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Telecommunications

Nigeria’s Data Consumption Jumps 413.79%

Data consumption in Africa’s largest economy Nigeria rose by 413.79% in the last four years, according to the latest data from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

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Broadband Penetration - Investors King

Data consumption in Africa’s largest economy Nigeria rose by 413.79% in the last four years, according to the latest data from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

In the last four years, Nigeria’s internet population grew by 41.38 million while Nigeria’s internet data usage increased to 350,165.39 terabytes in 2021, up from 68,154.12 terabytes in 2018.

During the period under review, broadband penetration rose to 40.88% or 38.12 million users in 2021 from 19.97% or 78.04 million users in January 2018.

NCC data showed GSM internet subscribers grew by 41.39 million from 100.23 million in 2018 to 141.62 million in 2021.

This, experts attributed to growing smartphone penetration and more access to data in Africa’s largest economy.

“Smartphone penetration was up by one percentage point to 33 per cent and our data customer base grew by 14.5 per cent, now representing 34.3 per cent of our total customer base,” Airtel stated in a report.

“Data usage per customer reached 2.6 GB per customer (from 1.8 GB per customer) led by an increase in smartphone penetration and expansion of our home broadband and enterprise customers.

“This helped us grow data revenue 31.2 per cent in constant currency. Growing penetration and usage of 3G and 4G data customers helped us grow data ARPU 8.2 per cent. Fourth Generation data usage more than doubled in the year, contributing 62.2 per cent of total data usage on the network in Q4’21.”

The telecommunication giant further added that “Our improved 4G network contributed to an increase in smartphone penetration, in data customers and in up-take of large data volumes, resulting in greater data consumption per customer.”

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Airtel Redeems $300 Million of its $1 Billion Guaranteed Senior Notes

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Airtel Financial Results - Investors King

Airtel on Wednesday announced that its subsidiary, Bharti Airtel International (Netherlands) B.V., has launched a cash tender offer to redeem about $300 million of its $1 billion of 5.35% Guaranteed Senior Notes due in 2024.

According to the telecommunications giant, the tender offer will expire on 19 July 2022, unless amended or extended by BAIN at its sole discretion. However, there is an early tender deadline of 5 July 2022 for noteholders wishing to tender their notes for preferential early tender consideration.

In a statement obtained by Investors King, Airtel said “All Notes accepted for purchase will be cancelled ahead of their maturity in May 2024. BAIN reserves the right at its sole discretion to amend or waive any of the terms of the tender offer.

“A further announcement will be made following completion of the tender offer. This early redemption will be made out of Group cash reserves and aligns with the continuation of our pursuit of a reduction of external foreign currency debt at Group level.”

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Airtel Acquires Additional 58 MHz Spectrum Worth $42 Million

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airtel africa - Investors King

Airtel Africa, a leading telecommunication provider has announced the purchase of 58 megahertz (MHz) spectrum worth $42 million for the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

In a document obtained by Investors King, Airtel revealed that the additional 58 MHz spectrum would be spread alongside 900, 1800, 2100, and 2600 bands across the 14 countries Airtel operates in Africa.

Airtel noted that this investment reflects its confidence in the tremendous opportunity inherent in Congo. It also authenticated the company’s support for the local communities and economies through furthering digital inclusion and connectivity.

The license for the paired spectrum in the 2100 band comes up for renewal in September 2032, while other licenses will be up for renewal in July 2036.

Investors King also gathered that the additional spectrum will support the 4G expansion in the market for both mobile data and fixed wireless home broadband capability by providing significant capacity to accommodate the continued strong data growth in Congo.

Accordingly, Airtel explained that Congo is the largest country according to their data portfolio, and the second-largest market by population.

This comes on the heels of the company’s full super-agent license granted by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) about a month ago.

The final approval came a few months after approval-in-principle was granted in November 2021. Approval-in-principle is a temporary approval that is subject to meeting specific requirements over the next six months, Investors King reported.

Six months down the line, Airtel Africa has met all the requirements and finally received a full super-agent licence to expand its agency network across Nigeria.

“The licence allows us to create an agency network that can service the customers of licenced Nigerian banks, payment service banks and licenced mobile money operators in Nigeria,” Airtel Africa stated.

The clearance is in accordance with the Central Bank of Nigeria’s aim of increasing financial inclusion by bringing financial services to the country’s unbanked and underbanked.

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