ICT CS Eliud Owalo clarifies extent of e-Citizen cyber attack

ICT CS Eliud Owalo. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

Information, Communication, and Digital Economy Cabinet Secretary Eliud Owalo says there have been unsuccessful cyber-attacks on the e-Citizen platform for a week.

CS Owalos clarification came hours after having a live interview on Spice FM Thursday, July 28 morning, where he reportedly confirmed the hacking of the e-citizen platform.

In a statement released on Thursday evening, the CS assured Kenyans of their data security and privacy saying data was compromised.

"The e-Citizen Portal is among the targets of these unsuccessful attacks. The attack on the e-Citizen platform entailed an unsuccessful attempt to overload the system through extraordinary requests, with the intention of clogging it, but our technical teams blocked the source IP address where the requests were emanating from. For clarity, both the privacy and security of data were not compromised. The system was not hacked," Owalo's statement read in part.

He also explained the slow access to some government services on the platform. He says it is a result of failed attack efforts, and reaffirmed return to normalcy.

"As a consequence of the attack efforts, however, the system has been experiencing intermittent interruptions that are affecting the normal speed of accessing services on the Platform. These attempts have, however, been rebuffed by the security systems and applications in place. Shortly, we will revert to optimal utilization levels," said Owalo.

He added, "We want to assure Kenyans that the government has put in place remedial measures to address the current challenge plus a long-term risk mitigation framework to ensure sustainable data privacy and data security".

While at Spice FM, CS Owalo had said the hackers began the attack by slowing the system down and then tried to break into it but were unable to.