Singh Katongole conned Shs300m by hackers
Posted Friday, February 22 2013 at 02:00
Detectives at the Criminal Investigations Directorate (CIID) are investigating the theft of more than Shs342m ($130,00O) that was conned off Mr Singh Katongole’s company Eurominium by a mysterious hacker.
The money was transmitted to an account submitted by a China-based supplier to Eurominium as clearance for a supply of aluminium profiles.
According to Mr Singh Katongole, the alleged hackers gained accesses to the company e-mail and that of suppliers and inter-changed accounts numbers.
“When the supplier sent us the accounts number on two occasions, one in China and another in Hongkong, someone changed the numbers thus the money was sent to the unknown accounts,” Mr Katongole said.
The hacker, who intercepted emails coming from both parties, is alleged to have left no traces apart from the account numbers on which the money was deposited to.
Police’s cybercrime department is handling the case that was reported a week ago. “It took us months to realize what had happened since we were waiting for the other party to take action and they were also waiting for us to pay,” Mr Katongole said.
A hacker in computer security context is a person who exploits the weaknesses in a computer system or network with a profit, protest or challenge motivation.
Cyber crimes, though not common in Uganda, have been increasing annually. In 2006, delegates at the East Africa Police Chiefs’ Conference noted that computer-related crime is the single toughest challenge facing them this millennium.
It was also observed that police in the region are untrained and ill equipped to handle the new wave of cybercrime, which involves everything from internet fraud and cyber terrorism to pornography.
In 2012, the government set up a Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT), a unit under the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) to detect internet crime in the country as well as a a cybercrime department in the police under the Criminal Investigations and Intelligence Directorate.
CERT monitors high-tech crimes, including cyber-based terrorism, computer intrusions, online sexual exploitation, while the police department investigates the complaints on cybercrimes.