Kenya Denies Claims of Being Hacked by China

Kenya Denies Claims of Being Hacked by China (News Central TV)

Following an exposé that claimed the attacks targeted Kenyan government departments for a period of three years, Kenya has denied reports that it had been hacked by the Chinese.

The government said that the claims made in the report were not supported by competent evidence from both the Kenyan and Chinese governments in a statement issued on Thursday evening by Interior Principle Secretary Raymond Omollo.

“In the absence of the above, the alleged motive behind the said attacks cannot be subsequently established beyond doubt,” said Omollo.

According to the study, eight government agencies and ministries in Kenya, including the president’s office and the National Intelligence Service (NIS), were the targets of the intrusions that allegedly continued for three years.

Following that, it claimed that the attacks were related to Kenya’s obligations to China and that they were carried out as a crucial link in President Xi Jinping’s plan for a global infrastructure network known as the Belt and Road Initiative, which aims to collect debt owed to Beijing.

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According to a July 2021 study paper published by a defence contractor, additional compromises may happen when it becomes necessary to comprehend upcoming payback schemes.

Omollo, however, characterised the study as a purposeful effort to sow fear and distrust.

“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,” added Omollo.

The assertions presented in the paper were also refuted by the Chinese Embassy in Nairobi, which referred to them as an effort to cause friction between Nairobi and Beijing.

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“The said false report is groundless, far-fetched and sheer nonsense. 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 in all forms. Tracing the source of cyber-attacks is a complex technical issue,” the statement from the embassy read in part.

Omollo further questioned why China would opt to hack systems that it installed for the government.

“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,” he added.

He also said that just like in many other countries across the globe, Kenya’s cybersecurity infrastructure is formative, and this portends inherent high-risk exposure to cyber threats noting that the government will continuously strengthen the security and resilience of all its Critical Information Infrastructure Systems (CIIS) through requisite laws and regulations and investments in stronger cyber security systems.

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