Kenya lost $148m through cybercrime last year – report

Kenyan firms lost Sh15 billion ($148 million) through cybercrime last year, with the public sector being the most affected, a new report says.
The amount lost has tripled since the previous year, raising questions about the country’s readiness to fight the menace.
The 2015 Cyber Security Report released on Wednesday noted that the public sector lost more than Sh5 billion ($49 million) from the attacks, followed by the financial services sector at Sh4 billion ($39 million).
“At least 5,000 internet routers and CCTV cameras belonging to companies are accessible over the Internet, they are exposed to hackers because of the default factory settings,” the report revealed.
Top attacks on Kenyan systems came from the US and China, a contrast with last year, when Germany and Kenya itself were the bases of the key hackers. In 2012, China topped the list.
The report was prepared by the Serianu Cyber Threat Intelligence Team, PKF Consulting and United States International University-Africa’s Centre for Informatics Research and Innovation.
“The report findings will help raise awareness on the extent of hacking in the country, for immediate action,” said Mr William Makatiani, the managing director of Serianu Ltd.
“Government entities, for instance, are vulnerable to crimes such as website defacements and ransom demands,” he said.
The report states that despite efforts by the government to fight cybercrime, Kenya is still ill-equipped.
Mechanisms for successfully fighting, tracking and calculating cybercrime losses are not well established, the report says.
It notes that most attacks are committed by staff and are very sophisticated, taking at least 120 days to detect.
Other common attacks are telecommunications threats, social media, online and mobile banking, mobile money fraud and cyber espionage.
In 2014, for instance, the Banking Fraud Investigations Department reported hacking into customer bank accounts between 2012 and 2013 that led to losses of Sh1.49 billion. The schemes were hatched by staff.