Interior PS Raymond Omollo refutes claims China hacked Kenyan government systems

Interior PS Raymond Omollo. [File, Standard]

Interior PS Raymond Omollo has dismissed allegations that China hacked Kenyan government systems for the period between 2019 and 2022.

Omollo's response came more than 24 hours after Reuters published an article based on a research report conducted by defence contractor for private clients' in July 2021.

In a statement released on Wednesday, May 24, the PS has termed the report as 'false, groundless, far-fetched and sheer nonsense'.

"The allegations presented in the article have not been subjected to authoritative proof of existence by the relevant persons from both the Kenyan and the Chinese governments," Omollo's statement reads in part.

'In the absence of (1) above, the alleged motive behind the said attacks cannot be subsequently established beyond doubt."

In his statement, PS Omollo has ironically defended the Republic of China, saying it was the source of key government infrastructure therefore it would not hire 'third parties'.

"The bulk of the critical networking infrastructure deployed by the Government of Kenya is sourced from the People's Republic of China. It is reasonable, therefore, to contemplate that if the country of origin desired to infiltrate the same systems it has helped install, it would unlikely engage third-party hackers," Omollo states.

Additionally, he has also assured Kenyans that the government has put in place strict security measures to ensure its system is secure from cybercrimes. He has also asked Kenyans to treat the article as sheer propaganda.

"The article should be viewed as sponsored propaganda. The wide circulation and the alacrity for its attribution by other foreign media with well-known inclinations further hint at a choreographed and concerted attack against Kenya's sovereignty,"

A day before, the Chinese government responded to the allegations of digitally intruding on Kenyan government systems by downplaying them too.

"Hacking is a common threat to all countries and China is also a victim of cyber-attack. China consistently and firmly opposes and combats cyber-attacks and cyber theft. Tracing the source of cyber-attacks is a complex technical issue. Moreover, it is a highly sensitive political issue to pin the label of cyber-attack on a certain government without solid evidence," a response by the spokesperson of the Chinese embassy in Kenya read.

According to the article by Reuters, Chinese hackers targeted Kenya's government in a series of digital intrusions against key ministries and state institutions.

It is reported that the story had three sources; two of which say the hacks were aimed, at least in part, at gaining information on debt owed to Beijing by the East African nation.