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How security raided, disconnected MTN data servers

A combined military force (ISO and CMI) raided MTN data Centres at Mutundwe Rubaga, and Port-bell Road Mbuya Nakawa and reportedly accessed the telecom’s data illegally. (FILE PHOTO)

KAMPALA– A combined military force raided telecom giant MTN Uganda’s data Centres at Mutundwe Rubaga, and Port-bell Road Mbuya Nakawa and reportedly accessed the telecom’s data illegally, PML Daily reports.

The raid by Internal Security Organisation (ISO), Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) and Police detectives according to MTN Uganda occurred at 9:00 PM on July 2.

In a statement Anthony Katamba, the MTN Uganda Ag, Chief Executive Director, said “this is to report the case of trespass and illegal access to our data centre in Mutundwe by security men alleging to be officers in the internal security organisation.”

Sources close to the matter revealed that on the July 2, a staff member of MTN contractor Huawei Uganda Ltd identified as Moses Keefah Muhoozi was at 5:00pm kidnapped by four men claiming  to be ISO officers.

Muhoozi is the manger data centre facilities at Huawei Uganda and is responsible for physical access to MTN data centres.

“He was consequently taken to the ISO offices Nakaseero and held there until 9:00 PM when he was taken to our data centre in Mutundwe where the said data centres are stationed,” Katamba said in a statement.

According to Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) footage, Muhoozi was forced to provide access to the security forces allegedly attached to ISO who subsequently directed him to disconnect four servers in the MTN data centres.

MTN in the statement said the four servers that were disconnected on the orders of the security officers have severely impacted the company’s daily services.

“The incident poses a serious risk to our communication infrastructure and customer data which are protected under the Uganda Communications

Communication act 2013,” the company said in a statement.

“Our services have been off since yesterday and yet to be reconnected as a result of which MTN currently unable to offer some services such as processing of call data records, resolution of customers’ queries and mobile money micro lending.

MTN said that “the incident was verbally reported to the Hon Minster for Security, CMI and Director General-ISO whose possible intervention led to the exit of the trespassers and subsequent release of our contract staff.”

However, the company said “it is important to note that MTN had not received any search warrant, court order or request for information that had not been attended to.”

“We are yet to determine the extent of interruption to our network activities and the financial impact,” Katamba said adding “It is also possible that some data may have been tampered with or illegally accessed and taken from the premises.”

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