Huge Pain in Uganda as Hackers Steal Millions from MTN, Airtel, Stanbic Bank, etc

Huge Pain in Uganda as Hackers Steal Millions from MTN, Airtel, Stanbic Bank, etc

There is a huge pain in Uganda. Yes, hackers broke into Pegasus, a mobile money integrator for banks, telcos, etc, stealing millions of dollars from Airtel, MTN, Stanbic Bank, etc in Uganda: “In a joint statement …, 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.” Yes, it is always the weakest link, and typically comes  from the flanks. You had sealed and hardened your systems, but are your partners in compliance and protected? 

Here, the banks and the telcos did not know the mayhem would come from an integrator. If you do not know where to start on how to deal with this type of problem, I refer you to portfolio company, Infoprive, which secures most startups, banks, airlines, etc in Africa and middle east.  

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 October 5, 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.

“Stanbic Bank Uganda, MTN Uganda and Airtel Uganda inform the public and their customers that on Saturday, October 3, a third-party service provider experienced a system incident which impacted Bank to Mobile Money transactions.  All Bank to Mobile Money/Wallet services have since been temporarily suspended,” the trio said.

“This system incident has had no impact on any balances on both Bank and Mobile Money accounts. Our technical teams are analysing the incident and will restore services as soon as possible.

“We apologise to all customers for any inconvenience that this has caused and reiterate our commitment to delivering seamless banking and mobile money services,” they added.

Ronald Azairwe, Managing Director Pegasus Technologies Limited, could neither deny nor confirm the incident.

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