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Hackers post porn on govt site

The website of Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (Kari) kari.org was on Friday morning compromised and defaced.

In a statement, the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organisation (Kalro), which now runs Kari after it merged with Coffee Research Foundation, Tea Research Foundation and the Kenya Sugar Research Foundation (Kesref), said foreigners were behind the cyber-attack.

It said that one of its former institute, Kari’s website, had come under cyber-attack, and inappropriate content displayed alongside research technologies. The hackers posted same-sex porn.

“Since KALRO took over the assets and liabilities of the former institution, we take great exemption to cybercriminals who created, registered the fraudulent website, installed malware and posted content of nefarious nature. Our ICT team have since established that the criminals based in a foreign country used fake domain registration details to register the said domain,” the statement, signed by the Director-General Eliud Kireger, read in part.

Assistance

He said that that institute has since written to the cybercrime unit for assistance.

They further said that their website kalro.org was secure and accessible.

“We would also like to assure everybody that our services in all 16 institutes and 57 centres around the country are fully operational especially this trying period of Covid-19 pandemic.” Mr Kireger added.

This is not the first time that the websites of government agencies are being hit by hackers.

Last year, the National Development Implementation and Technical Communication (NDICT) and ICT Authority-run Integrated Financial Management Information Systems (IFMIS) were both down after a cyber-attack.

A team calling itself Kurd Electronic Team left a series of incomprehensible text on the IFMIS website and disabled its functionality.

Again in 2017, the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) website was hacked. CA is the State agency that regulates Internet resources for public and private entities.

CA’s website was hacked by a group calling itself AnonPlus that replaced the regulator’s homepage with a five-point hackers’ manifesto promising to ‘defend freedom of information, freedom of the people and emancipation of the latter from the oppression of media and those who govern us’.

The hackers also took down the National Environment Management Authority (Nema) website for several hours casting doubt on the preparedness of Kenyan State agencies to fight cybercrime.

In 2014, the Kenya ICT Authority embarked on an overhaul of government websites to host them under one server in a bid to boost security in the wake of massive cyber-attacks that had seen even Deputy President William Ruto fall victim.