Information Network Security Agency

The Information Network Security Administration or INSA (Amharic: የመረጃ መረብ ደህንነት አስተዳደር, romanizedYemereja Mereb Dehninet Astedader) is the national signals intelligence and cybersecurity agency of Ethiopia, founded when the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) was the ruling party of Ethiopia.[1]

Information Network Security Administration
Director General
Tigist Hamid
Parent organization
Office of Prime Minister of Ethiopia



The Information Network Security Administration was founded during the EPRDF's period in power.[1] The legal basis of creating INSA in 2006 was the Council of Ministers Regulation No.130/2006, with goals including defence of Ethiopian information infrastructure.[citation needed] Among the initial activities of INSA was spying on dissidents among the Ethiopian diaspora using "sophisticated intrusion and surveillance software", and to lay legal charges against journalists and opposition activists and politicians of "treason" and "terrorism".[1]

In 2021, INSA shifted to new headquarters in a building constructed near Wello Sefer at a cost of Br 2.1 billion. The new building is shared by the Ministry of Peace, Artificial Intelligence Center, and Financial Intelligence Center.[2]


The Council of Ministers Regulation No.250/2011 and Proclamation No.808/2013 updated the initial legal definitions of INSA.[3]

Leadership and structure


On 20 April 2018, Temesgen Tiruneh was appointed Director-General of INSA,[4] who later become director of NISS. As of February 2021, the head of INSA was Shumete Gizaw.[5] In 2024 Tigist Hamid became Director-General of INSA,[6] replacing Solomon Soka.[citation needed]

In October 2018, responsibility for INSA was given to the Ministry of Peace.[7] It was reverted back to the office of the prime minister in October 2021.[8]

2019 password incident


In 2019, INSA was the subject of notoriety when a crack revealed that more than half of a sample of 300 agents were using extremely simple passwords.[9]


  1. ^ a b c "Editorial: Ethiopia must end intimidation campaign against academics and activists". Awash Post. 2020-12-05. Archived from the original on 2021-02-24. Retrieved 2021-02-24.
  2. ^ "PM Inaugurates INSA's New Headquarters Building (April 17, 2021) - Embassy of Ethiopia". 2021-04-19. Retrieved 2024-04-28.
  3. ^ "duties and responsibilities - en - INSA". Retrieved 2024-04-28.
  4. ^ "PM appoints Federal Gov't Officials". Walta. 20 April 2018. Archived from the original on 2019-10-13. Retrieved 13 October 2019.
  5. ^ "Norwegian professor's life threatened by Ethiopians". Bergens Tidende/Tghat. 2021-02-11. Archived from the original on 2021-02-13. Retrieved 2021-02-13.
  6. ^ "Two of Ethiopia's Intelligence, Security Institutions Get New Leadership". Retrieved 2024-04-28.
  7. ^ Shaban, Abdur Rahman Alfa (2018-10-17). "Ethiopia's Minister of Peace: the country's most powerful woman?". Africanews. Archived from the original on 2020-12-24. Retrieved 2020-12-24.
  8. ^ "News: PM Abiy forms new gov't; adds 20 institutions including NISS, INSA, investment & financial security accountable to his office". Addis Standard. 6 October 2021. Retrieved 4 August 2022.
  9. ^ Kay, Felicity (30 May 2019). "Report: Ethiopian INSA Agents Hacked: 142 agents chose the predictable password 'P@$$w0rd'". Safety Detectives. Archived from the original on 2021-08-12. Retrieved 13 October 2019.