Monday, June 1, 2009

Cybercrime and Online Protection Search for Solutions

Ghana Internet Services Providers Association (GISPA) full detailed speech at a press conference in Accra by Mr. Ato Sarpong


•The Ghana Internet Services Providers Association (GISPA) is a non-profit trade corporation that represents the interest of Internet Service Providers (ISPs)
•GISPA established the Ghana Internet eXchange Association (GIXA) which established the Ghana Internet eXchange (GIX) to ensure that local internet traffic is kept local to save money and give a better Internet experience

Our contributions

•Information and communications are known to be critical to national development
•Historical ISPs have played a critical role in the delivery of Internet services
•ISPs have also stimulated other sectors of the economy
•No of employees – 1,300

•Import duty & VAT payments from equipment cleared – GHC7.5million
•Net VAT & NHIL payments GHC 10.8million
•Direct taxes – GHC 5.8million
•Corporate Taxes – GHC3.1million
•Contribution to GDP in terms of business transacted on our network – 4.2%

Internet penetration

•According to statistics from the National Communications Authority (NCA), the number of Internet users in Ghana is about 1,000,000
•This accounts for about 4.3% of Ghanaians.

Our challenges

•High cost of International bandwidth
•Inhibitive legislations
•High cost of doing business in Ghana
•Funding opportunities for the industry
•Fighting cybercrime

Cyber crime

Generally refers to any type of fraud scheme that uses one or more online services - such as chat rooms, e-mail, message boards, or Web sites - to present fraudulent solicitations to prospective victims, to conduct fraudulent transactions, or to transmit the proceeds of fraud to financial institutions or to others connected with the scheme

Most Common Types

.Facilitation of Money Transfer
.Credit card fraud – 24% of all online fraud
. E-Commerce transactions from Ghana recognized as scams
. in 2005 Ghana blocked from using credit card for payments
.Ghana classified as a rising star for online fraud
. Most of the credit card fraud originating from hotel payments – (one $9k fraud originated from wool worth)

•Business opportunities
•Investment opportunities
•Job Opportunities
•Advance fee Loans
•Online Auction
•Nigeria money transfers (war Zone countries)

Global Statistics

•Total loss Est - $180Bn (2005)
•Average loss per compliant - $12k
•Growing & most expensive scam was Nigeria money transfer (over $180m lost to Nigerians by Americans)
•Top four scams
.Auction 42%
.General Purchases 30%
.Nigeria Money transfer 8%
.Lottery 4%


•Cost of crimes to businesses are immense.
•Cost to US organizations alone was $666 million in 2003
•Average American company loses 6% of its revenue, and in the U.K 3%
•Cyber Terrorism may soon be witnessed.
•E- Government initiatives are at risk.
•Growing threat to National Security.
• Corrupt society

Search for
3.Internet Services Providers

The Press
•Consistent creation of awareness through educational write ups and news reporting
•Constantly make it public that credit card fraud is not right

.Ignore e-mails soliciting transfer facilitation
.Don’t believe claims of earning money without work/effort
.Do some research
.Obtain professional advise
.Don’t act on testimonials from strangers
.Stay clear of off shore investment
.Don’t pay fee upfront
.Never provide bank account or financial details
.Do not attempt to meet the fraudsters
.Be cautious of e-mails offering jobs

•GISPA as an association resolved to be proactive in dealing with internet fraud
•Blocking of customers from assessing certain sites until properly verified and authenticated
•Not offering services to suspicious customers
•Rejecting moderation of unsolicited mails to customers
•Cyber cafes to block usage of certain sites as well and to report suspicious clients
•Difficult to trace IP’s normally originating from Yahoo, hotmail etc

Search for solutions – Recommendations for Government

•ICT workshop call for proper legal framework on this needs to be taken up by government
•Need to establish a cyber crime unit with all powers to be established to fight cyber crime
•Empower the CID with adequate tools and resources to fight and enforce cyber laws
•Prosecution for credit card and other online crimes to be made public
•The electronic transactions acts has been passed but government needs to expedite action on the cyber security bill

•The MoC is to develop a National Cyber Security Network Programme which involves the establishment of Computer Emergency Response Teams (CERT) in the Country in collaboration with GISPA and other stakeholders
•As a proactive mechanism the MoC will engage with stakeholders, create an Incident Management and Coordination capability, and a trust and secure mechanism to prevent any serious catastrophe to all strategic computer systems in the country


•Fighting any form of crime is a collective responsibility and all stakeholders must join hands in fighting it including online crimes.


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