sb-eu logo
Story image

Uganda data centre raided, operator ‘held hostage’

09 Jul 2018

A major data centre in Kampala, Uganda has allegedly been pillaged by government officials.

The concerning news comes at a time when data protection and privacy is a hot issue.

Uganda’s Daily Monitor managed to get a copy of a letter of complaint sent from MTN Uganda (a local telco company) to the government’s Internal Security Organisation (ISO).

The letter implied that the company’s data centre had been trespassed by security men purporting to be from ISO who accessed their servers before disconnecting four of them.

This came after a man who had physical access to the MTN IT Data Centre was ‘kidnapped’.

According to the letter, Huawei Uganda data facilities manager Moses Keefah Musasizi was seized at 5pm on July 2 before being held hostage at the ISO headquarters until 9pm when he was taken to the MTN data centre and coerced to provide access.

“We are yet to determine the extent of interruption to our network activities and the financial impact. It is also possible that some data have been tempered with or illegally accessed and taken from the premise,” the letter reads in part.

“The intrusion into the data was properly captured by our closed circuit television (CCTV cameras.”

Following the breach, MTN Uganda reported the case to the local police and stressed that they had received no warning.

“We await police investigation to determine the nature and motive of the above officers. It is important we had not received search warrant, court order or a request for information that not been attended to, warranting the above action,” the letter reads.

“This incident poses a serious security risk to telecommunication infrastructure and customer data which are protected under the Uganda Communication Act 2013. Our servers have been off since yesterday and are yet to be reconnected. As a result, MTN is currently unable to offer some services such as processing of call data records, resolution of customer queries and Mobile Money Micro-lending.”

According to MTN, the letter was copied to Minister of ICT and National Guidance, Minister of Security, Minister of Internal Affairs, Inspector General of Police, and the head of Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence.

Story image
The guide to digital security in unstable times
An increase in vulnerability across different sectors has meant that 2020 has seen more than its fair share of cybersecurity incidents. One of the most effective ways to combat the perils of today’s cyber-threats is to gain a better knowledge of the threat vectors looming over the heads of organisations. More
Story image
Sophos named mobile security Leader in IDC MarketScape
Sophos Intercept X for Mobile has capabilities in protecting Android, iOS and Chrome OS users from known and never before seen mobile threats.More
Story image
Gartner predicts 75% of CEOs to be liable for cyber-physical security incidents by 2024
The nature of CPSs means incidents can quickly lead to physical harm to people, destruction of property or environmental disasters – and Gartner’s new research indicates that these incidents will increase drastically in the next few years if the lack of spending on these assets continues.More
Story image
Proofpoint and CyberArk extend partnership to further safeguard high-risk users
“Our CyberArk partnership extension provides security teams with increased detection and enhanced adaptive controls to help prevent today’s most severe threats."More
Story image
Strong cybersecurity posture crucial for company success - Fortinet
"They should also conduct due diligence to ensure partners aren’t inadvertently creating vulnerabilities with insufficient cybersecurity measures."More
Story image
Emotet malware is on a rampage after months of silence
CERT agencies around the world are reporting a surge in cyber attacks related to the Emotet malware, which is being distributed by email.More