IT genius with a digital footprint that keeps cash-rich firms awake
SEE ALSO: Firms at high risk of cybercrimeThe Government believes that in 2015, he breached Safaricom’s impregnable system and made away with electronic airtime worth Sh20,000. The airtime, which he allegedly later sold at half-price, was insignificant, but the ramification of the larceny was earthshaking. The allegations had sent a chilling message to corporations with a presence in the cyberspace: they were not safe. Earlier in January, a court was told that Mutuku and a Mr Stanley Kimeu Mutua had infiltrated NIC Bank’s system, demanding to be paid Sh6.2 million in bitcoins. They were also charged with stealing Sh2.88 million from NIC Bank. They allegedly threatened to publish confidential customer information that they had accessed through hacking. Hacking is (the art of) gaining of access (wanted or unwanted) to a computer and viewing, copying, or creating data (leaving a trace) without the intention of destroying data or maliciously harming the computer.
SEE ALSO: Court upholds cybercrime lawBitcoins, which Mutuku and his accomplice allegedly demanded, is itself a cryptic currency and payment system familiar to tech-savvy individuals such as Mutuku. This virtual currency has at times been used by criminals for money laundering. Cybercrime – crime committed via the Internet or any other computer network – has been on the rise in Kenya and Africa in general, as more people take to online transactions. According to a report by the audit firm, PWC, most corporations in Kenya can’t tell if they were victims of cyber-attacks, a situation experts describe as “blissful ignorance”. And young, tech-savvy individuals are raking in billions from this ignorance. Mutuku has also been quoted in several media outlets to have boasted on his Facebook page of how he hacked Daily Nation’s system. We were not able to independently retrieve this posting. He was then able to retrieve the newspaper’s e-paper for free, a watershed moment that saw other publications fall to the same fate, thus denying them millions of shillings in revenue. Besides the court cases that have been dogging him, the young millionaire has also had low personal moments. For example, it is said that he once attempted to commit suicide by slashing his wrists when he learnt that his fiancée was having an affair.
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