Hacker steals sensitive data from govt website

Hacked. The Ministry of Gender and Labour offices in Kampala. The ministry’s online labour export system crashed after the hack. PHOTO by kelvin atuhaire

What you need to know:

  • Inside job. Sources say an employee of the Gender ministry hacked into the system in collusion with unscrupulous labour recruitment agencies to get undue clearances for their domestic workers.

Kampala. The recent hacking into the External Labour Information Management System at the Ministry of Labour was the work of an insider who intruded into the system to steal sensitive external recruitment information and documents, sources familiar with the operations told Daily Monitor.
Sources said the hackers took valuable information about export labour recruitments and a number of other sensitive documents from the site.
The ministry’s online system to vet labour export companies, confirm availability of jobs and counter human trafficking crashed mysteriously.
The automated system; The External Employment Management Information System, is a component of a broader labour management information system and labour market information analysis system developed by the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development recently.
The system was installed after complaints of mistreatment of Ugandan labourers working in Arab countries.
Government strengthened the collection, management and analysis of labour migration data, including information on labour demand and supply. Each registered company is given an account with password to log in and place the necessary requests.
Inside sources said an employee of the ministry in the IT section (names withheld) hacked into the system in collusion with unscrupulous labour recruitment agencies to get undue clearances for their domestic workers.
Mr David Mugisha, the commissioner for labour at the ministry, insisted the system “just crashed” and denied it was hacked into.
“I don’t know where you got that information of the hacking from. You can quote your own sources, but I am telling you the site only crashed,” Mr Mugisha said.
One source familiar with the system said “the hacker is known to the ministry. They have even identified him with the names, but they are refusing to act on him.”
Under the normal procedure, when a company receives a job order from foreign countries, it submits the offer to the Ministry of Labour for approval.
After approval, the company goes ahead to recruit and then the interviews are conducted and names of successful candidates are submitted for clearance.
The names are submitted along with their vetting forms bearing signatures and stamps of the Local Councils and District Internal Security Officer and Resident District Commissioner as proof that they are legally leaving the country for work. They are then cleared at airport for travel.
Our sources said many offers are rejected because they are discovered to be fake.
The sources said the companies in collusion with the security and immigration officials at the exit points, illegally clear many of these companies job offers at between Shs300,000-Shs500,000 per person.
“Some companies reportedly owned by security bigwigs and government officials are cleared without even paying the said amounts,” the source said.

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