The Nigerian Army has announced plans to commence exercise crocodile smile VI, the operation, according to authorities will include offensive cyber actions to identify, track and counter negative propaganda in the social media and across the cyber space.
In 2018, the Nigerian Army established a cyber Warfare Command charged with the responsibility to monitor, defend and attack perceived cyber threats including conducting denial of service (DDoS) attacks on criminals, nation-states and terrorists.
The announcement is coming at a time Nigerians are using social media to mobilise and sustain citizens under the #EndSARS campaign to halt police brutality and reform the police in Nigeria.
On October 17, Hacktivist under the Anonymous alias targeted the Nigerian Army website using DDOS.
In a statement Saturday, Musa Sagir, army spokesman, said the exercise would begin across the nation from Tuesday.
“This year’s Exercise CROCODILE SMILE V1 is scheduled to commence from the 20th of October to the 31st of December 2020,” Sagir said in a statement.
“The Exercise is deliberately intended to be all-encompassing to include cyber warfare exercises designed to identify, track and counter negative propaganda in the social media and across the cyber space.
“This is the first-ever Cyber warfare exercise to be conducted in the history of the African Armed Forces. Accordingly, the exercise will also include, positive identification component aimed at identifying Boko Haram terrorists fleeing from the North East and other parts of the country as a result of the ongoing operations in the various theatres of operations primarily in the Northeast, North Central and North Western parts of Nigeria.
“The Nigerian Army, once again, reassures all well-meaning Nigerians of its commitment to the sustenance of peace and security in Nigeria and urges members of the public for their support and understanding throughout the exercise.”
Civil society groups urged the military to stay in their barracks and respect the constitutional rights of Nigerians to protest. Also, some well-meaning Nigerians that spoke to HumAngle are concerned that the planned military campaign may target critics, journalists and peaceful protesters.