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CS Mucheru denies allegations of election hacking

Cabinet Secretary for ICT, Innovation and Youth affairs Mr. Joe Mucheru has denied claims that the Government was planning to hack the Independent Electoral Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Information technology system in order to rig the forthcoming General Elections in favour of one presidential candidate.

Cabinet Secretary for Information, Communications Technology (ICT), Innovation and Youth Mr. Joe Mucheru (left) engages The National Computer and cybercrimes coordination Committee (NC4) Director Colonel. Evans Ombati (right) during the closing ceremony of the National Cyber Security workshop held in Naivasha. Photo by Mabel Keya – Shikuku

Mr. Mucheru said IEBC was an independent body that is procuring its own Information Technology (IT) systems for the upcoming elections and the ministry was not involved in any way in this process.

“We do not have any plans or intension to hack the IEBC servers neither do we have the know-how to do it because the servers are procured and secured by the IEBC itself,” Mr. Mucheru said.

He said the allegations coming from one section of the political divide were pure political rhetoric saying it is not possible to hack the system secured by IEBC itself without prior knowledge or information about its security.

The CS was speaking in Naivasha on Friday when he officially closed the Cyber Security Strategy 2022 – 2026 workshop which he said will give guidelines that will help the government strengthen the cyber security laws.

On network coverage in the country during the coming elections, the CS assured the country that the entire country will be covered for the ease of transmission of the election results as IEBC had procured 1,500 satellite modems to be used in the areas not covered by the 3G network.

The country goes to polls on August 9 with over 20million registered voters expected to elect their leaders at six levels- presidential, gubernatorial, senatorial, county women representatives, Member of Parliament and member of county assemblies.

Mucheru said Kenya has the highest international bandwidth per internet user with 566.41kilobites per second and a compounded annual growth rate of 52 percent making it one of the most digitalized countries in the world.

He said every sector and industry and the government at large had adopted and relied heavily on ICTs and the internet as economic and governance resources and hence the need to secure our digital space.

The CS said to this end, the workshop could not have come at a better time as it will provide the government with the much needed policy and strategy to help secure “our digital space at this time when lots of government and private sector businesses have gone online.”

“This transformation has brought about cyber security challenges that any state needs to respond to, either on the offensive or defensive manner,” the CS said.

Mucheru said the adoption of new and emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, 5G Networks and block chain has brought about new challenges that require new strategies to address and protect Kenya’s cyber security interests.

The CS said in this regard, the country requires strategies to protect and safeguard Kenya’s Critical Information Infrastructure and essential services, strengthen its cyber security legal and regulatory frameworks, reduce cyber security risks and enhance computer and cybercrime incidents detection, prevention and mitigation.

Mucheru also observed that the strategy will also strengthen cyber intelligence collection; investigation; prosecution and judicial processes and facilitate public-private partnerships for national and international action plans and ensure a synchronized and comprehensive legal framework governing Kenyan cyberspace.

By Mabel Keya – Shikuku

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