Chief Justice David Maraga has warned of an increase in cybercrime cases due to the high uptake of technology amid the Coronavirus pandemic.
According to Maraga, COVID-19 which has resulted to lockdown has forced people to use online platforms for educational purposes, entertainment, financial transactions among others.
“While technology presents efficient and easier ways of carrying out transactions making life easier for all of us, technology misuse is also a reality. The post-COVID-19 period will translate to a lot of litigation of a cyber-crime nature; perhaps more than has ordinarily been before the courts. This makes cyber-crime and electronic evidence a pertinent issue in Kenya,” he said.
The Chief Justice was speaking during the virtual training of court of appeal judges on Cyber Crime and Electronic Evidence organized by the Judiciary Training Institute.
Further, he called on netizens to be vigilant and not fall prey of online scams and internet-related crimes.
Consequently, he indicated that the judges and judiciary at large is also at risk of cyber threats since court cases are filed virtually, heard and determined.
“As judges, we are also exposed to a host of other challenges such as cybersecurity, hacking and social media in our day-to-day use of technology, thanks to the digital age,” Maraga said.
In a detailed report on March 26, 2020, the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) cyber intelligence team detected at least 37.1 million cases of cyber threats in the period between October and December 2019.
This was a 47.3 percent increase from the previous quarter, where organizations in Kenya were hit by at least 25.2 million cases. The attacks entailed cases of malware, web application attacks, system misconfiguration and online abuse.
“During the period between October and December 2019, the National Kenya Computer Incident Response Team/Coordination Centre detected 37.1 million cyber threat events as compared to 25.2 million cyber threat events detected in the period July — September 2019,” said the CA.
Ultimately, most of the attacks targeted financial institutions and organizations with crucial information.
In 2016, organizations in Kenya lost at least Sh18 billion to cybercrime, according to an ICT security survey conducted by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) and the CA.