Revealed: Chinese hackers ‘targeted’ Kenya’s government over debts
Three cybersecurity sources have revealed how Chinese hackers launched cyberattacks on the Kenyan government as the country debt strains grew.
According to reports by Reuters, the cyberattacks aimed at gaining information on debt owed to Beijing by Kenya.
However, China’s Foreign Ministry said it is not aware of any such hacking.
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According to Reuters, the hacking campaign demonstrates China’s willingness to leverage its intelligence capabilities to monitor and protect economic and strategic interests abroad.
The hacks constitute a three-year campaign that targeted eight of Kenya’s ministries and government departments, including the presidential office, according to an intelligence analyst in the region.
Over the last couple decades, China’s infrastructure investments and loans have been rapidly expanding. Between 2006 and 2017, Kenya has taken large loans of at least Sh1043. 77 billion from China, and as of 2019, China accounted for 72 per cent of Kenya’s overall foreign debt.
Both countries established diplomatic relations on July, 13 1993. Chinese-Kenyan relations date back to December 14, 1963, two days after the formal establishment of Kenyan independence, when China became the fourth country to open an embassy in Nairobi.
These revelations have come just a few days after the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) warned Kenyans of the return of the ‘Wangiri’ phone scam.
The ‘Wangiri’ fraud is a cellphone call scam where fraudsters try to extract money from potential victims by calling using unknown international numbers.