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Hackers break into mobile money system, cart away unspecified billions belonging to telcos, banks and other financial institutions in Uganda

Ola Olaoluwa
Ola Olaoluwa

According to a report by CEO East Africa among others, unidentified hackers broke into the systems of Pegasus Technologies, a company that integrates mobile money transactions between telcos, banks, and other local, regional, and international money transfer services, making off with a yet to be known sum, but said to be in billions of Shillings.

The most affected firms are the leading telcos, Airtel and MTN Uganda, as well as Stanbic Bank, Uganda’s largest bank that also backs up most of the mobile money transactions.

In a joint statement released on Monday, 5th October 2020, Anne Juuko, Wim Vanhelleputte, and VG Somasekhar, the CEOs of Stanbic Bank Uganda, MTN Uganda, and Airtel Uganda respectively, admitted there was an “incident”, but did not give details.

But Twiine Charles, the Criminal Investigations Directorate spokesperson confirmed to CEO East Africa Magazine that an electronic fraud incident had been reported to police.

“The fraud incident has been reported. We are constituting a team of electronic countermeasures investigators and investigations begin effective tomorrow,” he said.
Twiine Charles, the Criminal Investigations Directorate Spokesman. Photo Credit: Smart2TV

A source at one of the affected companies, told this reporter that hackers broke into the system of Pegasus Technologies who handles MTN to Airtel and Airtel to MTN transactions as well as the respective telco to bank payments last Thursday night.

Several other than the local mobile money firms, other international money remittance firms were also affected.

Uganda In Focus:

Population - 44.2 million (Compared to South Africa's 59.6 million)

GDP: $34.38 billion (Compared to South Africa's $369.85 billion)

GDP Per Capita: $780 (Compared to South Africa's $6,193)

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Ola Olaoluwa

Writer | Economist | Actor | Fashion Entrepreneur