This year’s West African Examinations Council results for the West African Senior School Certificate Examinations (WASSCE) have suffered a technical hitch and therefore, created confusion among parents, candidates and other stakeholders.
Observers prefer to however, regard the development as the handiwork of hackers. We are not primed to draw a conclusion as to whether or not hackers were responsible. Suffice it to point out though that there was a challenge which saw candidates discovering their results changing.
It would appear some mischievous persons otherwise called hackers have set their sights on the highly reputable examinations body.
The examination body’s description of the situation as a technical hitch which has been resolved as contained in its announcement has not sufficiently assuaged our anxiety and other stakeholders.
We would have for instance wanted to find out whether or not some persons were responsible for the challenge or it was just a matter of a nut falling off from its place.
We all want the Council to maintain its integrity built over the years. Let the management of WAEC deal more with the Cyber Security Authority in such matters especially if there are hidden hands in what befell it.
This way, persons who might have possibly been responsible for what happened would be unmasked and dealt with according to the law.
Much as we want to abide by the contents of WAEC’s statement about what happened to their system we are unable to lose sight of the mischief of hackers.
All over the world the mischief of hackers are visible. The US had suffered a major hacking operation which resulted in a massive fuel shortage in some parts of that country. The emanating crisis was enormous constituting one of many already recorded in the history of hacking in the rich country and still counting.
We are not exempted from mealworm and other forms of interferences in our IT systems.
Whatever is the nature of the hitch which WAEC suffered, information about which is scanty, candidates have been directed to check for their results afresh using a new portal, something we find worrying.
Fighting those who throw spanners into the works of critical entities like the banking system, examination bodies among others is not a walk across the park. We should as a country tool the Cyber Security Authority to fight hackers.
It is expensive and requires commitment and dedication from stakeholders.
Hackers are getting busy and sophisticated in their operations. As we get more digitized in our day-to-day activities we must not lose sight of hackers who can be hired by frustrated politicians to cause confusion in myriad forms.
The Police headquarters now has a Cyber Fraud Unit and with the newly established Cyber Security Authority there is no reason why we should not support the latter especially, to protect ourselves and systems from the nefarious activities of hackers.
Hackers don’t give up. They will try over and over again applying new methods each time until they achieve their objective of creating confusion whose results run into whopping amounts of money.