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Kenya to set up forensic lab for cyber security

Tuesday June 30 2015

LILIAN OCHIENG'
By LILIAN OCHIENG'
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Kenya has taken over chairmanship of Association of Regulators of Information and Communications for Eastern and Southern Africa (ARICEA), a body that fights cybercrime within COMESA.

Through the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA), Kenya will lead the 19 member countries of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) in the fight for cyber-crime.

Mauritius was the pole bearer of the post before Kenya took over. To position the country for leadership, CA Director General Francis Wangusi Tuesday said a forensic lab will be set up in the country in three months’ time.

“The lab will proactively monitor impending cyber security attacks, detect reactive cybercrime and link up with the judiciary in the fight,” said Mr Wangusi.

REGISTER DEVICE OWNERS

He added that Kenyans will also be required to register their mobile devices with Kenya Network Information Centre (KENIC) in new rules aimed at fighting cyber- crime.

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“We will license KENIC to register device owners using their national identity cards and telephone numbers, the identity of a device will be known when it connects to Wi-fi,” said Mr Wangusi at the ARICEA annual general meeting Tuesday in Nairobi.

CA is also committed to conduct a detailed study on the depth of web hackings in the country. Wangusi said cyber-attacks are on the rise with the banking sector suffering most, followed by government officials.

Mrs Devi Seewooruthun board member of ICTA
Mrs Devi Seewooruthun board member of ICTA (right) and permanent secretary ministry of information Mr Joseph Tiampati during the ARICEA meeting in Nairobi. PHOTO | LILIAN OCHIENG |

Dr Abu Dafalla COMESA director Infrastructure at COMESA said that Kenya now leads in pushing cyber-crime agendas within the region.

“Criminals are carrying out illegal activities in the web and we must protect the region even us we focus on trade. A secure cyber space will reduce revenue loss," said Mr Dafalla.

Outgoing ARICEA chairman also permanent secretary, office of the secretary for home affairs in Mauritius Mrs Devi Chand said upcoming regulations must ensure reliable affordable and effective internet services within COMESA.

The measures being taken puts government in a position to fight cybercrime as it digitises operations.

Last year, government faced several cyber threats when the Kenya defence social media account was hacked. The hacker, self-identified by the twitter handle @Anon_0x03, also entered into the National Environment Trust Fund’s website.