The Kenyan government has dismissed a news article published by Reuters titled “Exclusive: Chinese hackers attacked Kenyan government as debt strains grew” as sponsored propaganda.
In a statement issued on Thursday, Dr. Raymond Omollo, the Principal Secretary for Internal Security and National Administration, said the news article initially published on May 23, 2023, and updated on May 24, 2023, presents serious allegations of cyber-attacks and unauthorized access to crucial and sensitive systems operated by the Government of Kenya.
“It insinuates that the attacks were carried out under the aegis of the Government of the People’s Republic of China, which is an act tantamount to deliberate economic espionage against Kenya,” the statement read in part.
Dr. Omollo said after thorough examination of the claims, the allegations put forth in the article lack authoritative evidence of their existence, as no conclusive verification has been provided by relevant officials from both the Kenyan and Chinese governments.
“The bulk of the critical networking infrastructure deployed by the Government of Kenya is sourced from the People’s Republic of China. It is reasonable, therefore, to contemplate that if the country of origin desired to infiltrate the same systems it has helped install, it would unlikely engage third-party hackers,” he stated.
Furthermore, the PS averred that the extensive dissemination of the article and its swift endorsement by other foreign media outlets with recognizable biases strongly suggest a coordinated and deliberate assault on Kenya’s sovereignty.
Dr Omollo also highlighted that Kenya is actively reinforcing its systems and capabilities for detecting and mitigating threats through the National Computer and Cybercrimes Coordination Committee (NC4).
He said the country is making significant investments in the development of a more robust and well-coordinated cybersecurity framework.
The PS emphasized that, similar to numerous countries worldwide, Kenya’s cybersecurity infrastructure is still in its developmental stage, which implies a considerable inherent risk of exposure to cyber threats. Consequently, attempted cyber-attacks are not uncommon incidents.
“The Government and its agencies are alive to this reality, and the necessary precautions that are under constant review to match the dynamic nature of the threats landscape have been deployed,” he said.