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.

Container survey shows adoption accelerating while security concerns remain top of mind
The report features insights from over 500 IT professionals.
Google 'will do better' after G Suite passwords exposed since 2005
Fourteen years is a long time for sensitive information like usernames and passwords to be sitting ducks, unencrypted and at risk of theft and corruption.
Hackbusters! Reviewing 90 days of cybersecurity incident response cases
While there are occasionally very advanced new threats, these are massively outnumbered by common-or-garden email fraud, ransomware attacks and well-worn old exploits.
SEGA turns to Palo Alto Networks for cybersecurity protection
When one of the world’s largest video game pioneers wanted to strengthen its IT defences against cyber threats, it started with firewalls and real-time threat intelligence from Palo Alto Networks.
Forrester names Trend Micro Leader in email security
TrendMicro earned the highest score for technology leadership, deployment options and cloud integration.
LogRhythm releases cloud-based SIEM solution
LogRhythm Cloud provides the same feature set and user experience as its on-prem experience.
One Identity named Leader in PAM and IAM by KuppingerCole
KuppingerCole lead analyst Anmol Singh evaluated the strengths and weaknesses of 20 solution providers in the PAM market for the report.
Healthcare environments difficult to secure - Forescout
The convergence of IT, Internet of Things (IoT) and operational technology (OT) makes it more difficult for the healthcare industry to manage a wide array of hard-to-control network security risks.