DSS does not understand the concept of hacking, says APC

•Lai Mohammed

Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information and Culture

Alhaji Lai Mohammed, APC, National Publicity Secretary
Alhaji Lai Mohammed, APC, National Publicity

The All Progressives Congress (APC) on Sunday stated that the Department of State Security Services (DSS) lacks complete knowledge of the concept of hacking after it accused the party of possessing hacking tutorials on its computers after a raid in Lagos.

Alhaji Lai Mohammed, APC National Publicity Secretary, at a media briefing in Lagos said the allegation that the APC planned to hack into INEC’s voters’ registration database was false.

NAN reports that on Nov. 22, 2014 the service raided the APC data centre in Lagos, alleging that it planned to hack into the voters’ registration data base of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The DSS on January 7 released its findings from the investigation, claiming that hacking tutorials were discovered from the centre.

Mohammed said the party’s stand on the findings remained unchanged. “The fact that the DSS made the allegation at all shows that the agency does not understand the concept of hacking, which is pathetic for a primary intelligence agency of its stature.

“We make bold to say that those findings cannot stand a serious scrutiny by independent investigators because the DSS worked backwards, from answer to question, in an effort to reach a pre-determined conclusion,” he said.

Mohammed said that INEC had never made a complaint of anyone or group trying to hack into its system. “The DSS findings are baseless as INEC’s database is a reflection of the registered members with the Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs).

Deputy Director Public Relations, DSS, Marilyn Ogar: accused APC of possessing hacking tutorials
Deputy Director Public Relations, DSS, Marilyn Ogar: accused APC of possessing hacking tutorials

“Please note that at the time of the DSS raids, the PVCs had already been printed. Therefore, of what value would it be to hack into the system and input more names,” he said.

Mohammed said that it was not possible for the APC to hack into the INEC Data as the database was not online. He also said that to prevent virus intrusion, there was no internet service at the APC data centre that was raided.

“Therefore, it is not possible to hack into INEC’s database. The DSS has claimed that hacking tutorials were discovered on an external hard drive.

“This is not true; all the USB ports on the pc systems in the office were disabled to prevent virus intrusion.

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“Therefore, the use of external hard drives is not allowed at the APC Data Centre.

“If this is so, how is it possible for an external hard drive containing these so called hacking materials to be found on the premises of the APC Data Office?,” he quizzed.

He said that the work stations at the party’s various data registration centres in the country were manned by unemployed youths with just basic computer knowledge.

“The question to ask is: Would the party have employed these people if the intent was to hack into INEC’s database or employed gurus in the IT world?

“It is clear that the DSS purchased a hard drive and downloaded the information themselves from the Internet,” he said.

Mohammed said that the alleged registration of armed forces, paramilitary personnel and babies was false.

“The question to ask the DSS is: Will any member of the armed forces and para-military organisations join a political party using a passport photograph of himself or herself in uniform?

“To the best of our knowledge, a baby cannot vote. So, why will any organisation register a baby as a member?

“Our application edits date of birth, hence will not allow the registration of under-aged persons.

“The DSS should tell the world where it got the pictures of babies that it affixed to the blank forms that were carted away from our data centre.

“We did not and could not have registered babies as members. This allegation is nitwitted, to say the least,” he stated.