Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) has revealed that it was the victim of an attempted fraud of 2 billion shillings on its banking system in 2020, at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The bank made the incident public on Thursday in its sustainability report, which estimated the number of avoided cyber attacks at 3,624 and other attempted fraud at 663.
The bank did not disclose whether the 2 billion shilling attempt was initiated by local or foreign hackers.
“In 2020, the group succeeded in preventing a theft of 2 billion shillings, as part of an attempted fraud, thanks to our robust cybersecurity systems,” KCB said without providing much detail on the arrest or legal action for the burglary.
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Kenya has seen an increase in cybercrime and online fraud in part due to a vibrant mobile money system driven by the digital economy. Mobile and Internet banking services are particularly popular, exposing thousands of users to fraud and phishing attacks.
Data from the Central Bank shows a 52% increase in mobile money transactions in Kenya to 3.26 trillion shillings in the first half of the year.
Phishing occurs when criminals serve advertisements promising rewards such as free airtime, cash, prizes, and other products. When you click on the ad, you are redirected to counterfeit websites where your personal data is collected and used to steal money.
According to KCB, an Atyorney General’s directive requiring companies to update their beneficial ownership re-registration has proven useful for tracking payments in real time and flagging suspicious transactions.
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âAs part of this development, the Group has decided to strengthen its internal Know Your Customer (KYC) procedures. Combined with our robust cybersecurity systems, we were able to report and prevent suspicious or fraudulent transactions more quickly, âsaid KCB Group.
Earlier this year, 12 people including eight Kenyans were jailed after being convicted of cybercrime in Rwanda. The twelve were charged with hacking and stealing money from the bank.
The twelve, also comprising three Rwandans and one Ugandan, were imprisoned for eight years. The group fell into the hands of the Rwandan Bureau of Investigation in October 2019 after attempting to hack Equity Bank systems to steal money.