BREAKING: Ghana election commission website hacked

Hackers have targeted the website of Ghana’s electoral commission as votes are counted after tightly contested elections.

The commission says the website is up again, but it it is currently blank.

The commission has tweeted, urging people to ignore “fake results” circulating on social media.

President John Mahama is facing a strong challenge from main opposition leader Nana Akufo-Addo in a campaign dominated by Ghana’s faltering economy.

Wednesday’s election passed off peacefully, but voting was postponed to Thursday in one constituency after voting material failed to arrive on time.

A run-off will be held later in the month if neither of the two main candidates secures more than 50% of the votes.

In the previous election in 2012, Mr Mahama defeated Mr Akufo-Addo by less than 300,000 votes.

“We deplore the attempt to hack the EC’s [electoral commission’s] website. Please respect the integrity and independence of the EC,” it said in a tweet.

All seven candidates have pledged to keep the process peaceful but an opposition supporter died when a rally tuned violent on Monday.

Results are expected in the next two days

Voting in his northern home region of Bole on Wednesday, where he was mobbed by a cheering crowd, President Mahama said Ghana’s democracy had “matured” and this election would further consolidate it.

Asked about corruption, he told AFP news agency: “There is a general perception of corruption in all African countries. I think it is a stage of our development. As we continue to strengthen the institutions of state, I think that people will come to see the integrity in these institutions.”

Mr Akufo-Addo said he hoped for an orderly election as he voted in Kibi in the south of Ghana.

“It’s very important that this process goes off efficiently and smoothly and peacefully so that Ghana continues to maintain its deserved image of being a democracy that takes democracy seriously,” he said.

The candidates signed a pact last week vowing to follow electoral rules and keep the peace.

Clashes near the border with Togo on Monday left one person dead and six in a critical condition.

Defeat for Mr Mahama of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) would make him the first incumbent to lose an election since Ghana returned to multi-party democracy.

He has been nicknamed “Mr Dumsor”, a local word that refers to the power cuts that have blighted the country during his term, but on the campaign trial has been trying to convince Ghanaians that he is delivering on his promise of creating more jobs.

Mr Akufo-Addo has promised free high-school education and more factories, but his critics have questioned the viability of his ambitions.

The other four candidates include former first lady Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings of the National Democratic Party (NDP), whose husband Jerry John Rawlings initially took power in the 1979 coup.

She is the first woman to run for president in the West African country.

Yahoo at Logger Heads with ‘US Government Agency, for Secretly Scanning workers’ Emails

Yahoo has been accused of secretly scanning hundreds of millions of incoming emails of US intelligence or law enforcement, reports say. The internet company conducted a surveillance last year after receiving a classified demand from the National Security Agency or the FBI, according to Reuters.

Three former Yahoo employees and another unidentified person told the news agency that the US government pushed Yahoo to search for a string of letters, numbers or other characters.

That meant the fishing expedition could have involved finding a specific phrase or code in the text of
an email or an attachment. Yahoo built a special software programme to comply with the government’s request.

Yahoo did not deny the report in a statement that described itself as a company “that complies with the laws of the United States”.

The Department of Justice and the FBI did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Edward Snowden, the whistleblower who revealed the NSA’s program for spying on US citizens, tweeted that Yahoo users should close their accounts in the wake of the revelations. Meanwhile, Google said it had not received a similar spying request from the request from the US government. If it had, Google said, its response would be “No way”.

Microsoft, whose email service is larger than Yahoo’s, said it had “never engaged in the secret scanning of email traffic”. Facebook said it would “fight” such a request should it ever receive one and civil libertarians also condemned the reported Yahoo action.

Patrick Toomey, a staff lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union, called Yahoo’s alleged acquiescence to the government order “deeply disturbing”, adding that the order itself appeared to be “unprecedented and unconstitutional”.

The report is likely to test the bounds of Yahoo users’ already-stressed loyalty. Late last month Yahoo disclosed that hackers had broken into at least 500 million user accounts to steal email addresses, birthdates, phone numbers and passwords.

Source: CNN

500m Yahoo Accounts Hacked

Computer hackers swiped personal information from at least 500m Yahoo accounts in 2014, the US tech company has announced, in what is believed to be the biggest ever digital break-in at an email provider.

The massive security breakdown disclosed on Thursday was blamed by Yahoo on a “state-sponsored actor” – parlance for a hacker working on behalf of a foreign government.

The California-based company did not explain what took so long to uncover the breach, and declined to explain how it reached its conclusions about the hacker. It said, however, it was working with the FBI and other law enforcement as part of its ongoing investigation.

The stolen data includes users’ names, email addresses, telephone numbers, birth dates, scrambled passwords, and security questions – and answers – used to verify an account holder’s identity.

Last month, the tech site Motherboard reported that a hacker who uses the name “Peace” boasted that he had account information belonging to 200m Yahoo users and was trying to sell the data on the web.

Yahoo is recommending that users change their passwords if they haven’t done so since 2014. The company said the attacker didn’t get any information about its users’ bank accounts or credit and debit cards.

The data breach poses new headaches for Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer as she tries to close a $4.8bn sale to Verizon Communication.

News of the security lapse, which dates back to late 2014, could cause some people to have second thoughts about relying on Yahoo services, and raise questions about the checks and balances within the company.

Read More: aljazeera

Tinubu & Amaechi’s Phones Hacked; APC Accuses Presidency

APC has accused the Presidency of hacking the phones of some of its leaders. The party listed the leaders whose phones have been bugged to include the National Chairman, John Odigie-Oyegun; the  National Leader, Bola Tinubu, Senator Bukola Saraki, Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State, former Gov. Timipre Sylva and the party’s National Publicity Secretary. Lai Mohammed.

The leaders have also be placed under surveillance by security agencies. The party in a statement issued by Mohammed in Lagos on Thursday said that its leadership and members would not be intimidated by the latest alleged clampdown by the President Goodluck Jonathan-led administration in the run-up to the March general elections.

He noted that Nigerians should hold the Jonathan administration responsible if anything happens to the party’s leaders.

Read More: Vanguard

Defence HQ Website Hacked- Vanguard

The Defence Headquarters website has been hacked. The site was hacked into in the early hours of Friday.

However, the Defence Headquarters’ said its information blog site has been restored. According to a statement signed by Major General Chris Olukolade, Director of Defence Information, “The site was defaced at the front end. However, the hackers could not infiltrate the database of the site.

“Preliminary investigation shows that the attack was from the end of the site’s host. One Ima Sadiq who posed as the hacker has been knocked off and normal activities on the channel has resumed.

“Apparently, the blog site was targeted because of its role as a major channel for disseminating information on military and security activities in the nation’s counter-terrorism campaign”, he said.