26-05-2023 by redazione
Did China or did it not spy on the Kenyan government, breaking into the computer systems of the main institutional websites and portals for two years with its hackers?
The back-and-forth between an exclusive report by the Reuters news agency that went around the world and the palace in Nairobi is holding court these days in the media, not only national.
Already last December, an investigation by the 'Blackberry Research and intelligence team' had raised the alarm, ventilating that the Beijing government group 'Mustang Panda' had been spying on the old and new Kenyan institutional apparatus for some time, using 'bait' linked to Ukraine.
According to this report, the Chinese had also been spying on Italy for some time.
On Kenya, however, assures the news agency, there would be more foundation and in recent days it has dropped the 'bombshell'.
According to Reuters, Kenya had already reported a hacking attack in 2019, just as Chinese loans were running out and financial tensions in Kenya were beginning to appear. The Asian giant lent more than $160 million to African countries in the first 20 years of the millennium, according to a Boston University database on Chinese loans.
At least nine of them were used by Kenya, for the well-known infrastructure projects of the Mombasa-Nairobi fast-gauge railway, for the port in the coastal city and for the capital's elevated 'Expressway' motorway.
Beijing has become the country's largest bilateral creditor and has acquired a strong position in East Africa's most important consumer market and a vital logistics hub on the Indian Ocean coast of Africa.
Sources intercepted by the British news agency reportedly said that Chinese hackers broke into Kenya's secrets, using confidential data and documents, from early 2019 until late last year.
According to the documents provided by the analyst, Chinese cyber spies subjected the Kenyan president's office, the ministries of defence, information, health, land and interior, the counter-terrorism centre and other institutions to persistent and prolonged hacking. Not only that, according to Reutersm, 'a server controlled by Chinese hackers also accessed a webmail service shared by the Kenyan government most recently, from December 2022 to February this year'.
After two days of suspicious institutional silence, the Kenyan government, while admitting that China operates most of the Kenyan servers, strongly refuted the reports circulated by the British agency, confirming that the institutions' websites and databases have never been attacked and have always been secure. In an official statement, the deputy interior minister, Raymond Omollo, claimed that 'there is no absolute proof of attacks by Chinese hackers on the country's systems', calling the investigation 'false and nonsensical'.
An African state against a major international media, with Beijing's economic 'colonisation' in the background. In all this, the Chinese government has not yet commented.
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