Kenya loses millions of dollars to cybercrime

A Nairobi-based lawyer wants the government should review laws on prosecuting cybercrime suspects

Kenya loses millions of dollars to cybercrime

World Bulletin/News Desk

A report released on Wednesday by the Ministry of Information and the Telecommunication Service Providers Association of Kenya showed that the East African country was losing millions of dollars every year to cyber-crime.

The report, titled Kenya Cyber Security 2014, said nearly two billion shillings (roughly $22.7 million) were stolen from bank accounts between April 2012 and April 2013.

Principal Secretary Ministry of Information Joseph Tiampati said this rise in cyber fraud has caused a drop in the number of Kenyans willing to use debit card transactions.

According to the ministry, Kenya ranks fourth in Africa in cybercrime, after Algeria, Egypt and South Africa.

Notably on the rise, the report showed, is the recruitment by the Somali militant group Al-Shabaab through internet.

It said youths in Kenya and in the Somali diaspora are lured into joining the militant group through the use of internet video messages that "encourage and brainwash many youth to join the terror group."

"Cases of terrorist attacks using cyberspace have also become a worrying trend," Tiampati told the report launch ceremony.

"The recent cases of terrorist attacks on Kenya is a wake-up call that together with other forms of security points to the need for focus on cyberspace security," he added.


Secretary Tiampati said the government is taking several measures to handle the problem.

"To secure online transactions and therefore grow e-commerce, the government has now developed the Public Key Infrastructure which will offer digital certificate to those transacting online," he said.

"To address some of these inherent gaps in information security the government is soon launching the National Cyber Security Strategy," he announced.

"The Strategy will provide the government with a national-level plan to defend and secure its digital infrastructure," said the official.

Among other measures planned to be taken by the government is the establishment of a Computer Incident Response Coordination Center which will offer advice on cyber security matters nationally.

William Mukuria, a Nairobi-based lawyer, said the government should review laws on prosecuting suspects.

"The report failed to tackle the missing link in the fight against cybercrime which is the law," he told AA.

"The existing laws are inadequate to prosecute cybercrime suspects," Mukuria told Anadolu Agency.

"Understandably cybercrime is a new phenomenon in the law circles but stakeholders and experts in security and judiciary should converge to come up with adequate laws," he added.

Last Mod: 12 Haziran 2014, 11:08
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