[kictanet] Fibre Optic & Cyber Security, March 2009

John Walubengo jwalu at yahoo.com
Wed Dec 5 09:55:13 EAT 2007

Security is going to be a mega-issue once the submarine
fiber lands in Mombasa. At the moment Kenya is spared the
full-scale exposure from international cyber crooks simply
because our slow satellite links don't lend themselves to
modern tools of cyber-attacks.

Here is my macro-projection of what will occur on the
internet-security landscape in March 2009 or thereabout
when the submarine cable is launched.

1. Continued delay of national and regional legislation
makes Kenya and E.Africa a safe-haven for cyber-crooks.

{following the delayed debate and enactment of the
pre-requisite Cyber-legislations (e-Transaction Act,
Cyber-crime Act, Data-protection Act, etc) Kenya has become
the preferred destination for executing cyber crimes and
getting away with it. The crooks are taking advantage of
the lack of legislation as well as the incapacity for the
authorities to investigate, collect, preserve digital
evidence as well as prosecute cyber-crime. 

The newly launched submarine cables seem to have provided a
conducive superhighway for the crooks to deploy there tools
from the comfort of their Chinese, Eastern Europe and other
territories.  The Kenya Government seems to have been
caught off-guard and the Internal Security Minister could
not be reached for comment because he was holed up in a

2. Local domains hosting critical national infrastructure
get hit (Banking, KRA, Immigration, Medical Data)

{....In particular, the successful deployment of
eGovernment initiatives such as KRA, KPA, Banking, Medical
and other data have become a soft-target for the criminals.
  They are launching various attacks that compromise poorly
configured and insecure web-servers, they take advantage
for ill-equipped employees who continue being the weakest
link in the security chain of the respective

3. 80% of International Bandwidth consumed by junk-mail,
malware, porn.

{....The BPO markets are the most affected in that
operators are saying that they are getting allocated huge
amounts of affordable bandwidth BUT they do not realise or
experience the full potential of the links since 80% of the
link is hijacked by spammers, porn-operators and other

Ofcourse I hope am wrong about these projections.  But
unless security is designed upfront into most of our
digital projects, we definately are going to be hit and in
a big way.


--- Alex Gakuru <alex.gakuru at yahoo.com> wrote:

> Glad you raised security issues Walu,
> While urging more content to be put online, we need to
> invest a little on securing our websites. Memories of
> various defaced sites should still be fresh?
> There is a young effort to raise funds to send two
> internet security members of skunkworks to the next
> IEFT meetings. Would you, others, like to join?
> Thxs 
> --- John Walubengo <jwalu at yahoo.com> wrote:
> > 
> > Local Content: Biggest thrust would be eGovernment
> > programs. Put as much public stuff online as
> > possible and
> > get to train a wide sector of the society on how to
> > access
> > it (digital villages?)
> > Ofcourse Increased Porn, Cyber Crime, etc would be
> > expected
> > to increase over the International Fiber.  But that
> > should
> > be managed rather than provide a reason to lock our
> > country
> > into a little, digitally safe but internationally
> > blacked-out  island.
> > 
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