Beware of cyber crime during lockdown, Kenyans warned
Kenyans have been warned to be wary of an increase in cybercrimes with most activities now being carried out online amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Chief Justice David Maraga said that the Covid-19 pandemic has seen a tremendous rise in the use of online platforms, in a bid to minimise or curb the spread of coronavirus.
The surge in the use of online platforms, he pointed out, will definitely increase the risk of cybercrime, online scams, and other ills associated with the use of the Internet.
The Chief Justice said that currently many activities traditionally done outside the internet including financial transactions, education and learning, work-related activities and even the justice system are now being conducted online.
He pointed out that a report by the National Kenya Computer Incident Response Team Coordination Centre indicates that Kenya is among the top 10 countries on the continent with the highest number of people exposed to cybercrime.
According to the report, Sh26.6 million cyber threats occurred in the country between April and June 2019.
Similarly, a global report by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), in partnership with McAfee carried out in February 2018, which focused on the impact that cybercrime has on economies worldwide, reported that close to Sh60 trillion (USD 600 billion) is lost annually to cybercrime, up from Sh44.5 trillion (USD 445 billion) in 2014.
“While technology presents efficient and easier ways of carrying out transactions making life easier for all of us, technology misuse is also a reality,” said Justice Maraga.
He was speaking during the opening ceremony of a virtual training workshop for Court of Appeal judges on cybercrime, electronic evidence and related issues aimed at building the capacity of the judges to deter and detect cybercrime in the country amid the Covid-19 Pandemic.
The two-day training is organised by the Judiciary Training Institute (JTI) in partnership with the Attorney General Alliance (AGA- Africa).
On his part, AGA-Africa Board Member, Mr Markus Green said that most traditional crimes have now slowed down and switched to online scam as this is the easiest way of generating money.
He said that cybercrime accounts for losses worth Sh21 billion in Kenya annually therefore, the judiciary is a key piece of the criminal justice system.
In light of the above challenge, Mr Green said, the workshop is aimed at sharing knowledge on the tools and techniques used in the detection, investigation, prosecution of cybercrime and the effects of emerging technologies in committing these crimes and evidence collection.
“The challenges technology comes with including digital white collar crime and hacking necessitates such trainings especially in the wake of Covid-19,” said Mr Green.
Consequently, the CJ stated that the post-Covid period will translate to a lot litigation of a cyber-crime nature; perhaps more than has ordinarily been before the Courts.