Sacco calls for calm after claims of database access by hackers

Police in Nyeri are investigating a case where database systems of a microfinance institution were hacked and malicious message sent to members.

Hackers are said to have accessed personal details of Biashara Savings and Credit Co-Operative (Sacco) Society Limited members and sent the Short Messaging Service (SMS)  on Sunday at 2 am telling them to withdraw their savings over a 'planned closure' of the institution.

 "The message was calling out for the members to withdraw their money as the Sacco was due to close by August 31 this year. We want to assure our members and the general public to disregard the malicious message that was in circulation because all their funds are safe," said the institution's chairman Joseph Njamuku.

Njamuku linked the incident to a wide syndicate of cybercriminals urging members to be calm as detectives investigate the matter.

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"The message reached approximately 2000 Sacco members who at the same time started forwarding it to their friends and colleagues. We have since reached out to all members to reassure them of their funds safety," said Njamuku.

The message is said to have reached some members from Karatina, Othaya, Kiawara, Nanyuki, Embu, Rware, Thika and Nairobi areas where the institution has established branches.

The official added that they have since raised the issue with its regulator, Sacco Societies Regulator Authority (SASRA) and Nyeri county director of cooperatives.

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"The matter has also been reported to Nyeri police station for further investigations and we have installed systems to mitigate the rising incidents of cyber-crimes," he added.

Njamuku said that Cybercrimes are rampant and a global threat to operations and sustainability of business both in the public and the private sectors.

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