Experts investigate cyber attack on government sites


By Cyrus Ombati

Cyber crime experts are investigating a hacker who took down 103 Government of Kenya websites in an attack on Monday night.

A Kenyan expert aware of the incident said an Indonesian hacker known as direxer was responsible for the hacking.

Among the ministries affected include the Ministries of Local Government, Livestock, Environment, Fisheries, Housing, and Industrialisation.

Others are ministries of Finance, Education, Public Health, Youth Affairs, National Heritage and Roads; as well as sensitive departments such as Administration Police, Immigration, Prisons and various city, municipal and county councils.

According to the local CIO, a technology magazine, the government normally hosts several websites in one server at The Treasury, Ministry of Finance. Photo: Ministry of Finance

Reports said the hacker is part of an online Indonesian security forum known as Forum Code Security and says he took down the websites following tutorials from the forum.

Such tutorials usually exploit programming errors in code, known as bugs, which have not been fixed.

A Cyber Incidence Response Team (CIRT) based at the Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) has moved into action and was making efforts to restore the affected websites.

The CIRT was formed to handle such situations and ensures Kenya's security in cyber space. Officials at the commission said the experts had located the hacker who appears to have a website at

A message he left on the Forum Code Security site said: "show off by me… thanks for tutorial in all… i have exploit from cs web, and i attacking to server Government Kenya,,,, and then,,, success full… this is deface in this night…"

According to the local CIO, a technology magazine, the government normally hosts several websites in one server at The Treasury thus compromising the server may expose several websites to a hacker.

On his site the hacker said, "and I will carry out attacks on other servers if the Government is still neglecting security. My Security Code on behalf of Indonesia, Security is a necessity."

It is not the first time that some of the affected websites were hacked in the Monday night incident. Some of them were yet to start running while others are now functioning. The affected sites were:

http://www.publicservice.go. ke/index.html

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