Fighting Internet fraud and other related crimes could soon become easier after the government pledged to sharpen skills of personnel dealing in cyber crime. The government has also set up a public hotline for people to report such cases.
Charles Mugisha, the head of cyber security at the Rwanda Development Board (RDB), said many Rwandans do not understand cyber crime or even underestimate it. “My people discover that their Internet privacy has been compromised when it’s too late.
“We have also discovered that many people have had their online files attacked by viruses and malware programmes in suspicious circumstances,” he said.
He said online hackers often use this to steal or alter information on company websites and spread false news.
Mugisha said in an interview with Business Times last week, that besides the awareness campaigns to educate the masses about cyber crimes, RDB would set up a technical team and install a software that will enable the team to track cyber criminals.
“We shall be able to track down hackers who commit such offences so that Rwandans can use the Internet without fear of hackers,” he said.
He said research was still ongoing on how much fraud has been committed in banks through the web, as well as establishing the number of companies that have had their online information tampered with.
According to statistics from the Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority, Rwanda’s Internet penetration rate stood at 22 per cent in March, with the number of subscribers increasing from 2,068,179 at the end of 2013 to 2,311,885 users.
Mugisha said their intervention aims at safeguarding important services like e-banking, e-government, e-health, e-education, e-commerce and e-agriculture that are supported by the Internet, noting that a serious cyber-related incident could affect the whole economy.
He revealed that RDB was currently training personnel from telecom companies and the banking sector on how cyber crimes can take place and how to handle them and curtail them.
Mugisha noted that RDB is working with regional and international bodies, saying some cyber criminals use sophisticated software when committing offences.