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Fraudsters ‘steal thousands’ as hackers hit Uganda m-money network

MTN Uganda.jpg

Fraudsters have stolen an estimated US$750,000 from the accounts of mobile money customers in Uganda, according to reports from the country.

The Ecofin news agency, quoting CEO EastAfrica, a business magazine, says that an attack on the systems used by Airtel and MTN meant that hackers were able to exchange funds and extract 900 million Ugandan shillings ($240,000).

“We estimate MTN has also lost almost double that amount, as it is the leader in mobile money,” an unnamed source told CEO EastAfrica.

Services for customers of Airtel, MTN and Stanbic Bank were suspended on Saturday when the attack was discovered, said the publication.

The services are provided by a Uganda company, Pegasus Technologies, not connected with a US-based company of the same name, or a UK-based company, Pegasus Technology.

The website of the Uganda company was down when Capacity checked it this morning.

“When the fraud was detected, all transactions going through Pegasus Technologies were put on hold,” one of the sources told CEO EastAfrica.

According to Ecofin, Ronald Azairwe, the managing director of Pegasus Technologies, refused to confirm or deny the true character of the “technological incident”.

However, the agency quoted Twiine Charles of the Ugandan Police Criminal Investigations Directorate. He said: “An incident of electronic fraud had been reported to the police.”