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How hackers penetrated telecoms to steal billions


How hackers penetrated telecoms to steal billions


As you read this, dozens of workers in the two leading telecom companies MTN and Airtel have been suspended as part of a massive I investigation to try to find clues to how thugs found their way into the mobile money systems.

But from what we gather, the thugs broke the firewalls of the company that was at the interchange between individuals and the banks.
Known as pegasus the company has been responsible for linking individual mobile money accounts with banks that ensured that people would be able to either deposit money or withdraw without having to line up in banks.

Reports indicate that over UGX 1.5 billion might have been lost by Airtel while MTN being the mobile money giant is believed to have lost more than that amount.

Following the system compromise, bank to mobile money and e-wallet services between banks and the telecoms have been suspended.

In a statement released by the telecom companies on Monday, Mobile money services between telecom companies MTN Uganda and Airtel Uganda have also been temporarily suspended.

According to a joint statement released on Monday by MTN and Airtel, they got issues with their systems.

“MTN Uganda and Airtel Uganda wish to inform the public and their customers that due to unprecedented technical challenges, mobile money services between the two networks are temporarily suspended. Our technical teams are working together to resolve the challenges and restore the services as soon as possible,” a joint statement by the companies said.

The two companies however assured their customers that there was no negative impact on their account balances.

“We apologize to all customers for any inconvenience that this has caused and reiterate our commitment to delivering seamless mobile money services.”



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