The Computer Society of Kenya

Since 1986

Cyber crime a major hurdle to confidential data storage, IoT

cybercrime2BUSINESS DAILY By A Reporter 

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 2019 14:52

As the world prepares for a hyperconnected Internet of Things (IoT) landscape where billions of devices will be interconnected and zillions of confidential data stored in servers, only one snag scares many IT professionals — cybercrime.

You need technology to improve the quality of life but your efforts can be rendered useless when malevolent people use it to cause harm.

This was the case with Georgia when on October 28 more than 2,000 websites including those of the president, courts and the media were hacked in a massive cyber-attack.

On the front page, the malicious key punchers displayed a photo of the country’s exiled former president Mikheil Saakashvili with an inscription "I'll be back!"


Lawyer sues Safaricom, Airtel over data bundle expiry


Tuesday October 22, 2019

Lawyer and ICT practitioner Adrian Kamotho has sued telecommunication operators for irregularly depriving consumers of their unused data bundles.

In a complaint filed before the Communications and Multimedia Appeals Tribunal, Mr Kamotho said he was aggrieved by the high cost of data and frustrated by the arbitrary expiry of hard-earned bundles.

He wants the tribunal to order Safaricom, Airtel and Telkom Kenya to furnish him with their current data tariffs, or prominently display the current data tariffs on their websites.

He also wants the companies to stop depriving consumers their unused data based on the data expiry model.

Mr Kamotho said the firms discriminate against consumers by charging “out of bundle” rates, which are different from normal bundle rates.


DCI: Buying electronics from dubious dealers may land you in jail


Monday October 07, 2019

Kenyans have been cautioned against buying electronic gadgets from individuals and dealers without fixed physical addresses and unidentifiable premises to avoid buying stolen items.

In a statement on Sunday evening, the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) warned Kenyans against purchasing laptops, mobile phones and TV sets from traders who lack requisite trade documents, including licenses, permits and other local and national approvals.

Theft of electronic gadgets has become rampant in Kenya in recent years. Criminals steal, rebrand and repackage the gadgets using polythene bags before reselling them as new devices.


Time for board to rethink ICT governance


Tuesday October 25, 2019

In general, governance is about having structures, processes and procedures in place to ensure that an enterprise achieves its objectives and is accountable to the shareholders.

Many corporates have established structures to oversight typical business functions like finance, accounts and human resources.

National laws have gone further and internalised the importance of governance in these domains, given the enactment of several acts of parliament governing, for example, the conduct and operation of the accounting and human resource professionals.

As such, board members are fairly clear on the expectations from management when it comes to providing oversight to financial, human resource, procurement and other more established organisational functions.


UN: Kenyans the most care-free users of internet globally


Thursday September 05, 2019

Kenyans are less troubled about the security of personal data posted on internet, a global survey shows, implying they could be an easy target for cyber criminals.

Only four in every 10 internet users in Kenya are concerned about their privacy online, a new report by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) Wednesday shows.

This is the lowest level in the world according to the report and ranks poorly against the global average of eight in every 10 users.

“While there appears to be increasing concerns about data privacy and online security around the world, there is somewhat a ‘data privacy paradox’, as users continue to give away personal data and thus their privacy in exchange for different services,” says UNCTAD Digital Economy report published last (Wednesday) evening.


Telkom hits out at Safaricom over merger plans with Airtel


Wednesday September 04, 2019

Telkom Kenya has accused market leader Safaricom and the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) of frustrating its merger plans with Airtel.

In a rare public spat, the telco says Safaricom wants to delay the process that seeks provide customers with more credible options.  


“Does the dominant player not want to see this sector grow? Is the dominant player wary of competition, and even more precisely, wary of competitive pricing, choice and value for money for the consumer?” Telkom Kenya Chief Executive Officer Mugo Kibati told a press conference on Tuesday.


Should CBK issue a cryptocurrency?


Tuesday August 27,2019

Ten years ago, when Bitcoin, the first cryptocurrency was created by some anonymous fellow or fellows called 'Satoshi Nakamoto', the established monetary system represented by Central Banks across the world ignored the event.

Today, all central banks are grappling with the reality that Bitcoin and its many variants of other cryptocurrencies are not going away anytime soon.

Whereas the majority use of cryptocurrencies remain in the hands of fringe speculators and other minority groups, the value of assets held and transferred within these groups cannot be ignored.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank and other traditional fiat custodians are beginning to explore the possibilities of integrating at least portions of these emerging crypto assets into their existing monetary systems.


Internet Governance Forum – multi-stakeholder approach to ICT Policy



Last week, the annual Internet Governance Forum (IGF) week – Kenya edition came to a close at a Nairobi Hotel. Hosted by the Kenya ICT Action Network and now in its twelfth edition, the IGF week presents the best platform for ICT policy dialogues.

Fashioned along the annual Global Internet Governance Forum, it aims to bring together different stakeholders with different perspectives to discuss contemporary policy matters that the ever-evolving ICT technologies present.

The unique proposition that the IGF presents is that all stakeholders are on ‘equal’ footing.

In other words, whether you are from government, media, academia, civil society or whatever else your stakeholder grouping maybe, your views will be heard and adopted on merit.


Kenya blockchain report a welcome move



The long-awaited Blockchain & AI report was finally handed over and released by the ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru early last week. Expected to have been launched towards the end of last year, one can only say it is always better late than never.

In its basic definition, a blockchain is a new type of record-keeping whose overall control is not within a single entity but rather distributed across multiple entities.

In other words, the ability to change or update records in the system is done through a shared consensus between multiple parties. Better still, once an entry is recorded, it become tamper-proof or immutable.


CBK says bank boards to pay for cybercrimes


Wednesday July 17, 2019

The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) has issued new rules to payment service providers including commercial banks and technology companies warning the boards of directors that they face “ultimate” liability in case of criminal breaches.

In the guidelines aimed at stemming cybercrime, the CBK says boards will take responsibility for breaches of customer information.

“Payment Service Providers (PSPs) should carry out regular independent assessment and audit functions that shall be undertaken by the internal and external audit and risk functions … The board of directors is ultimately responsible for the cybersecurity of the PSP,” said CBK.

PSPs including firms like Mastercard, Visa, Safaricom, Airtel and Telkom who have 90 days to comply with the requirements published this month.


Kenya has made great strides in ICT but key aspects need more work


Tuesday July 09, 2019

In June, Research ICT Africa finalised a second review of the state of Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) in Kenya. The first review was done in 2012. Since then, the sector landscape has greatly changed.

The report focused on both the supply-side and demand-side perspectives, stressing the changes that have taken place since the last review.

The report used standard ICT development metrics to review Kenya’s ICT status. Access survey was undertaken in 2017 covering 1,200 households and 500 small and micro businesses.


Kenya cyber attacks rise to 11.2 million in first quarter


Thursday July 05, 2019 

Kenyan organisations were hit by about 11.2 million cyber threats, being a 10.1 percent increase in the number of incidences, in the first three months of 2019 when compared to the previous quarter.

This is according to fresh Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) data indicating that its incident response centre detected growing cases of malware, web application attacks, system misconfiguration and online abuse.

CA’s cyber intelligence team consequently issued 14,078 cyber threat advisories to the affected organisations, an increase from the 12,138 alerts during the previous period.

Cyber security threats are estimated to have cost Kenya’s economy about Sh29.5 billion, a recent report by tech consultancy firm Serianu said.


Mobile cash deals grow Sh186bn in five months


Monday July 01, 2019

The value of cash transacted through mobile phones in the first five months of the year rose Sh186.11 billion compared with a similar period last year, largely driven by higher e-commerce transactions.

Mobile payments hit nearly Sh1.79 trillion in the review period from Sh1.60 trillion a year ago, the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) numbers indicate.

This translates to a daily average of nearly Sh11.85 billion in the period, an 11.58 percent growth over 10.62 billion posted in similar period in 2018.


Government Websites hit again — Do we have offensive capabilities?

cybercrime2Daily Nation By John Walubengo 

Wednesday June 12, 2019

Last week, government websites were hit and defaced by hackers. It wasn’t the first time, nor would it be the last time. This, unfortunately, is the nature of cyberspace.

During the last attack two years ago, I wrote about some of the interventions we could put in place to prevent or limit the damage arising from such attacks.

I am not in any position to tell if any of these interventions are in place. However, judging from the speed at which the affected websites were recovered and restored, it does imply some sense improvements.

The philosophy behind cyber security is that eventually one or two attacks will go through, however much you invest in preventive measures. So the idea is to ensure that you equally invest in containment and recovery strategies.


Shortage of skilled cybersecurity experts exposes ICT sector to huge losses

cybercrimeCyberattacks are growing but the talent pool of defenders is not keeping pace, reveals a Nation Newsplex review of cybersecurity data.

Kenya has only 1,700 certified cybercrime professionals, too few to secure a population of close to 50 million in one of the most advanced countries in information and communication technology (ICT) on the continent, reveals a new report on cybercrime. 
Figures from the Africa Cyber Security Report 2018 show that about two-thirds of companies will face a talent shortage of cybersecurity professionals.

“Most black-hat hackers (cybercriminals) are self-taught. We must have frameworks to change them to become white hats (ethical hackers) to help protect the system,” says Mr John Walubengo, an ICT lecturer at Multimedia University and a technology blogger.

This is so even as the country’s ICT prowess continues to be recognised beyond the boundaries. Just last week, Kenya raised its clout as a continental digital pacesetter when President Uhuru Kenyatta launched the country’s Digital Economy Blueprint at the Transform Africa Summit in Kigali, Rwanda, the first in Africa.



bonface akukuKenya Agricultural & Livestock Research Organisation (KALRO) ICT Director Boniface Akuku recently won an award on mobile applications the organisation had developed under his leadership. He shares how KALRO is using ICT tools to help farmers.

1. Your innovations are poised to change the fortunes of farmers. what’s your education background?

I hold a Bsc. degree in IT from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology and Msc. In Computer Science. I am now a PhD candidate in Information Systems and a certified systems engineer.

2. You recently won a prestigious tech award. what’s this award about?

The Africa Tech Award took place on March 5 at the Century City Convention Centre in Cape Town, South Africa. It recognises the achievements of organisations and individuals using technology to deliver real results and return on investment for businesses in Africa.


How Artificial Intelligence can change education in Kenya


Wednesday April 18, 2019

As our schools laptops project continues to face hurdles, folks in advanced economies are forging ahead to the next level by integrating Artificial Intelligence (AI) into their educational sector.

AI can provide personalised learning, assist in marking or grading and offer translation services that can enhance both learning and teaching experience.

Personalised learning means that the system can adjust the learning content based on student-specific needs or weakness. A teacher can now avoid using the one-size-fits-all approach that is common in traditional learning environments.

AI provides personalised learning, based on the testing and instant feedback arising from students as they engage with the digital learning platforms.

These types of systems respond to the needs of the student, putting greater emphasis on challenging topics or repeating content and tasks that students may not have mastered.


Huduma Namba is a great idea as long as data security is guaranteed


Wednesday April 10, 2019

Early in the year, I did raise some concerns about the new National Integrated Identity Management System dubbed Huduma Namba. The court in its recent ruling allowed the Huduma Namba registrations to proceed but suspended some provisions that are obviously aimed at protecting citizen privacy.

Some of the suspended provisions include restrictions from collecting citizen DNAs and geo-locations, restrictions against sharing the data with third parties and making the registration process optional.

Indeed these restrictions may well be lifted after the case is heard and determined and so as Kenyans, we should be looking beyond the court cases and begin to think of resolving the challenges.


Time we fought cybercrime, the beast terrorising our children


Thurday March 28, 2019

That today’s child is hooked to the internet is not in doubt.

The sooner we accept that this all-powerful communication and learning tool is here to stay and start working on how to deal with its negative aspects as far as children, the most vulnerable group, are concerned, the better.

Lack of online security for children and mastery of protecting them is a global problem, and governments and society must keep devising ways and measures to deal with it.

These must involve constant education of children at school and home and in any other situation and forum.


Technology can help stem corruption in government



It was interesting to note on social media that the 'war on corruption' that has recently hijacked headlines is actually not new.

The first President, Jomo Kenyatta, started it, his successor, President Moi, claimed to fight it and so did President Kibaki.

President Uhuru Kenyatta has taken up the same mantra of 'war on corruption', but Kenyans must be forgiven for being sceptical, given the evidence of spectacular failure from previous presidents on the corruption front.

Can technology help in the fight against corruption?

President Kibaki’s regime introduced rapid automation in government and the Jubilee government promised even more automation in the public sector.


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