Two men allegedly linked to ISIS charged with hacking into Safaricom systems

Two men have been arrested and charged with allegedly hacking into Safaricom system and having connections with international terrorist groups.

Morgan Kamande and Robert Nsale, a Ugandan, were arrested on March 31st after Safaricom’s general manager reported to the police a case of ”unauthorized access into Safaricom’s systems”

Safaricom first noticed suspicious behavior on its network before the company’s investigative department identified the illegal access.

Police investigated the incident and found that it was initially associated with a Safaricom worker. Further investigations by Anti-Terrorism Police Unit, revealed that the two could be part of terror-related hacking activities with a larger criminal network affiliated to ISIS and ISIL cyber caliphate in Kenya.

According to court records, the two were in possession of the SIM card and computer containing “the unauthorized access information”. The two were released on a bond before being re-arrested to face terrorism-related charges.

The suspects will remain behind bars for 15 days, after police requested more time to investigate the matter, arguing that releasing them could jeopardize the case.

The hack resulted in one customer losing Sh. 266,000 through an ”illegal SIM swap”

Safaricom’s CEO, Mr Bob Collymore, in a separate statement, assured Kenyans that all their data is safe and that there was ”no evidence of any money being taken from the system,”

Safaricom investigated 27 cases of fraud in the 2016 financial year, two of which ended up in court.

On Thursday, the Cabinet approved the Computer and Cybercrime Bill 2016. The bill seeks to address investigative and prosecutorial challenges arising from the current legal framework. It will tackle issues such as Identity theft, online fraud, money laundering, phishing, cyber stalking, hate speech, and radicalisation.

The bill will also criminalize child pornography, illegal access, data and system interference and other computer related fraud cases

In March, a 24-year-old was arrested and charged with hacking the Kenya Revenue Authority’s (KRA’s) systems, leading to a loss of Sh4 billion.