Togo: Cybersecurity in Wifi Zones

June 08, 2021 | by: David Kodjani

In West Africa, scammers have Cybercafés as their centers of operation. In Togo, cybercriminals are no longer hiding, it is in cybercafés that they operate under cover.

Often it's a whole network involving young girls in charge of seducing big pigeons, extracting information from them about their full identity. This method allows them to rely on the naivety of the victims.

In Nigeria and Benin, the police raided cyber cafes reputed to be cybercriminals' strongholds, where some arrests made it possible to unmask and dismantle entire networks.

Nowadays in Togo and especially in the capital Lomé, cybercafés have given way to the Wi-Fi zone which are generally places inside which wireless internet access is available thanks to a Wi-Fi hotspot. The particularities of the Wi-Fi zone are:

  • Permanent accessibility
  • The customer uses his own equipment
  • Shared connection cost

We contacted some managers of these platforms to understand the operation of their platform and how they are secure because they talk about connection internal talks about cybercrime.

  • Operation and Prices

In terms of operation, each customer who comes must buy a pass, made up of an identifier (ID) and a password, depending on the number of hours he wants. Then he connects to the network to type in his information before having access to the connection. The hotspot at first glance is open and therefore anyone can connect to it but will not have access to the connection, something which is only possible with the pass.

At Geek Spot Wifi-Zone and almost all Wifi-Zones, connection prices range from 100 to 5,000 CFA francs:

Price Time Validity
100f 250 Mo 1 day
100f 1 Hour 1 day
200f 600 Mo 1 day
250f 3 Hours 1 day
500f Unlimited (24h) 1 day
1500f Unlimited (1 week) 7 days
5000f Unlimited (1 month) 30 days
  • Security

The Wifi-Zone uses a hotspot network with a server on which everyone can connect with their PC, Smartphone or Tablet.

As soon as you connect to the network, you are redirected to the customer page in order to type in the information on the pass you have purchased and have access to the internet. On the security side, the manager of Geek Spot Wifi-Zone told us that it is not so easy to crack the network code because according to him the people who come to his wifi space are not expert computer scientists. And even if some are, they have a tiny percentage chance of cracking the security protocol. Indeed Mr. ADJARE Kofi Armand, affirms that after the installation of the network, he made a security test.

"If we take the cyber cafes that existed before, it was easy to crack them and find a hole to access the internet because there is software that we can use to do so. I myself tested the same software on mine and it did not work. So I can say that it is more or less secure and that there is an 80% chance of cracking the network."

Compared to the security of wifi network accounts, it is also not easy to hack it. The network itself is free and open and when you log in you only have access to the page intended for customers. To have access to user accounts that manage the network, you must have administrator credentials. The network is split into 2 parts, namely that of the customers and that of the operator. The latter is placed on another hidden network.

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