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NIC bank database hackers to be held longer

Police have been given more time to continue holding two suspects in connection with the hacking of a local bank’s computer database in Nairobi.

The suspects are said to have demanded Sh59 million ($65,000) from the NIC Bank and threatened to publish loads of “confidential” material they had accessed.

“I am investigating a case of unauthorised access of a computer service, contrary to the Communication Commission of Kenya Act 2013 we have an allegation that the suspects gained access into the IT systems of the NIC bank and need more time to finalise the probe,” Mr Charles Odhiambo of the flying squad told a magistrate at the Milimani Law Courts on Monday.

A third suspect in the case, Mr Sylvester Muthoka Kamula was charged at the chief magistrate’s court with stealing Sh2.8 million from the NIC bank and was released on bond pending the hearing of the case.

DATA CENTRE

He was charged with stealing the property of NIC bank at Head office, Nairobi, on August 2 and 5.

On Monday, the police in a miscellaneous application sought the further incarceration of Mr Alex Mutungi and Mr Stanley Kimeu of the hacking of bank’s data centre.

The suspects were arrested at 1.00am at a house in Nairobi on Friday and their phones and laptops seized, the investigating officer said.

They were taken to Tala and later Machakos before being locked up at the Muthaiga police station, the court was told.

Initially, the officer had asked the court for five working days which the court reduced to two.

“There are seized electronic material which are undergoing forensic analysis at the cyber crime unit…the nature of investigations being conducted involves mobile phones and laptops,” the police officer said.

COMPROMISE INVESTIGATIONS

He said that if the suspects are released before investigators complete the work and secure the evidence “they may access the network from any location and interfere.”

“The offence is cyber related and if they gain access to the network there is a likelihood that they may compromise ongoing investigations, they are IT experts,” the officer said.

Milimani resident magistrate Hellen Kugura allowed the request for further incarceration but directed that the suspects be detained or two days at the Kilimani police station.