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Uganda: Hackers Manipulate Mobile Money System, Steal Billions

Telecoms MTN and Airtel, which control at least more than 90 per cent of the mobile money market and Stanbic Bank are thought to be the biggest victims according to local media.

Hackers have reportedly manipulated a Mobile Money payment system in Uganda, making away with billion of shillings.

Telecoms MTN and Airtel, which control at least more than 90 per cent of the mobile money market and Stanbic Bank are thought to be the biggest victims according to local media.

Stanbic Bank uses the services of a third party, Pegasus Technologies to  facilitate mobile and digital payments through its FlexiPay service. Hackers are believed to have manipulated the technology firm’s system.

Sources familiar with the incident told this website that other companies in the country using Pagasus services have been affected.

A statement signed by MTN, Airtel and Stanbic Bank late Monday revealed that there had been a system incident in which hackers had accessed systems of a third party service provider (Pegasus Technologies) thus impacting all bank to mobile money or wallet transactions.

The incident, is believed to have started last Thursday and went through the weekend. The telecoms were reportedly forced to suspend bank to mobile money or wallet transactions.

“Stanbic Bank, MTN and Airtel inform the public and their customers that on Saturday, a third party service provider experienced a system incident which impacted bank to mobile money transactions. All bank to mobile money [or] wallet services have since

However, the companies indicated that “the system incident has had no impact on any balances on both bank and mobile money accounts”.

Police on Tuesday  said they had launched investigations into the alleged theft.

CID spokesperson Charles Twine, said they had been briefed about the incident but were still analyzing the extent of the hack.

“We have commenced investigations today. However, we need some time to dissect the matter,” he said.