Kenyan University Students Data Exposed to Hackers?

  • A man pictured while working on his personal computer.
    A man pictured while working on his personal computer.
  • On Wednesday, June 3 Mount Kenya University (MKU) issued a statement regarding claims that personal information of thousands of students was hacked into and posted online.

    “Dear students, it has come to our attention that some fictitious website is claiming to have our students data, this was preceded by earlier claims that they were able to alter students marks. However, this did not work and have resulted to other means.

    “We would like to assure our students that their University data is safe and should dismiss such allegations. In case of any queries do not hesitate to contact our office," reads the University's statement in part.

    A student from the campus, Vick Onyango, has since shared an incident in which he claims to have been swindled by a lady who had his personal information.

    Mount Kenya University's Chancellor's Tower, Thika Campus.
    Mount Kenya University's Chancellor's Tower, Thika Campus.

    "A lady by the name Grace Waccu called me from the main campus and asked me to about my missing marks, asked for money in order for her to post my missing units.

    "She had all my details and she sent me screenshots on my WhatsApp," he explained.

    According to the initial report published byTech Trends, data pertaining to students at MKU -both past and present, was hacked into and posted on a hackers forum.

    The data allegedly consists of names, general addresses, and phone numbers of university students.

    "Touseef Gul, a Pakistani Penetration Tester, says the data includes records of 211,373 students both current and past from their admission lists to student and administrative information," reads the report in part.

    The cyber threat issue in Kenya has seen a worrying surge over the last few years.

    A huge percentage of government services currently run on the back of technology, with confidential data the most coveted 'jewel' in hacker communities.

    Cybersecurity engineers - virtual guards that keep online intellectual property safe, are a hot commodity at the moment due to their scarcity.

    According to recent estimates, there will be as many as 3.5 million unfilled positions in the cybersecurity industry globally in the next few years.

    On May 28, Check Point Software Technologies, a leading provider of cybersecurity solutions globally, announced that its Check Point Secure Academy education initiative had partnered with Strathmore University in Kenya to provide a comprehensive cybersecurity curriculum.

    "The key aim of the project is to bridge the cybersecurity skills gap and also creating a safer local cyber landscape," the press statement reads in part.

    Mount Kenya University campus in Kicukiro, Kigali.
    Mount Kenya University campus in Kicukiro, Kigali.

    The Communications Authority’s report for the period between July - September 2019, shows that the National Cybersecurity Centre detected 25.2-million cyber threat events.

    Globally some statistics related to cybersecurity as per predicted that the cost of online crime is expected to hit the Ksh600 trillion mark by 2021.