Communications Minister, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, has assured that the Electoral Commission will be void of hackers as her outfit has put mechanisms in place to prevent infiltrators from having access to the country’s electoral data system as it goes to the polls next year.
According to her, the move was to prevent instances of cybercrime that occurred during the last general elections.
“It became an issue in the last election and as I indicated by the end of this year we are going to designate critical national information infrastructure and protected data basis and information systems – The electoral commission systems will be one of them,” Owusu-Ekuful stated.
The Minister also reiterated that the EC forms part of the institutions to be equipped with a critical national infrastructure that will have its data basis as well as information systems protected.
During the 2016 polls, it was recalled that some hackers targeted the EC’s website as votes were counted following a tightly contested election.
The official website of the EC went offline for close to four hours in an alleged attempt to put up fake results.
The EC rectified the shortfall while urging the public to “respect the integrity and independence of the EC.”
The Communications Minister said her team is in discussions with the EC to find ways to protect the cyber ecosystem of the commission.
She was, however, reluctant to give details of the Ministry’s engagement with the EC justifying that going public will give hackers leverage to engage in malicious acts.
“I cannot sit here and tell you what we are doing with them to protect those infrastructures. That will be an invitation for people to test the robustness of the system to see if they can withstand that attack.
“But we are engaging with them in terms of data protection, in terms of cyber security, in terms of protection of the information data basis and by the time of the next election 2020, their system will be secured from attack of infiltration.” she averred.
She was quick to caution that offenders will be “dealt with”, should they be caught.
Governments resolve in combatting fake news
The Information Minister had earlier called for urgent measures to be taken to check the circulation of fake news and cybercrime activities in the country.
Kojo Oppong Nkrumah worried over the increasing spate of fake news that circulated on social media will not augur well for electoral processes, information dispensation if the right measures are not put in place.