Rwanda on cyber alert as ‘Anonymous’ threatens attack

Saturday February 13 2016

Anonymous hacks into government, corporate websites, globally. PHOTO | FILE

Rwanda is conducting a detailed analysis and investigation aimed at tightening its cyber-security, after Internet activists Anonymous threatened to attack government websites to expose “increasing corruption.”

The director of ICT at the Ministry of Youth and ICT, Didier Nkurikiyinfura, said the investigation is a regular procedure and “not a reaction” to the Anonymous hacking threats.

However, Anonymous breached the security of Broadband Systems Corporation (BSC) — a private company that provides the government with video conferencing technology — and dumped its private data on the Internet for all to see.

The data included detailed contacts of employees of BSC, e-mail exchanges and encrypted passwords.

Anonymous, which previously focused on hacking countries outside Africa, has for the first time turned its attention to the continent. The group has put Rwanda in the top position on its target list, followed by Uganda, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Sudan, South Sudan and Ethiopia.

The group believes these countries are implicated in institutional corruption and widespread child labour, according to a statement on its website.


Anonymous is described as a “leaderless organisation” comprising activists and hackers who have conducted high-profile security breaches on websites of governments, corporates and religious organisations globally.

“A team is analysing and investigating the incident. But, we are not doing this for Anonymous, we are not reacting. Ensuring cyber security is part of normal government procedure to ensure that our services are safe and secure,” said Mr Nkurikiyinfura.

He said that no government services had been hacked, nor was any sensitive or harmful data disclosed.

“We have systems in place to ensure that government services are safe and secure – and regular cyber-security audits are conducted to serve that cause,” he added.

Rwanda adopted the national cyber security policy last year to safeguard government information and infrastructure against cyber-attacks.

The government intends to create an agency to co-ordinate cyber security initiatives, which will overcome inconsistencies and duplication of efforts between government agencies.

Rwanda has also implemented initiatives such as the Internet Security Centre to monitor Internet security, and the National Public Key Infrastructure, which ensures confidentiality and authenticity of electronic transactions.