MTN Uganda’s data center raided, servers switched off

Uganda’s largest telecom MTN says security officers raided its data center in Mutundwe, Kampala and disconnected four of its servers.

In a letter dated July 3 and sent to the Internal Security Organisation (ISO), the telco claimed security men alleging to be from the agency in charge of domestic intelligence intruded into the data centre on July 2 and kidnapped an employee of its contractor, Huawei data manager, Moses Keefah Musasizi, who is responsible for access into the firm’s data centre.

The letter further states that Mr. Musasizi was abducted at 5pm local time and taken to the ISO head office in Nakasero, 9km away, where he was held until 9pm when he was returned to the data centre and forced to give access to the security men. He was also ordered to disconnect the four servers.

“We are yet to determine the extent of interruption to our network activities and the financial impact. It is also possible that some data have been tempered with or illegally accessed and taken from the premise,” the letter reads. “The intrusion into the data was properly captured by our closed circuit television (CCTV cameras),” MTN adds.

The MTN South Africa subsidiary says it has already reported the invasion to the police. “We await police investigation to determine the nature and motive of the above officers,” MTN said. The firm said it had not received any search warrant, court order or request for information.

The men are said to have ended their raid and released the contractor after the incident was verbally reported to the Minister of Security, chief of military intelligence and ISO director-general. “This incident poses a serious security risk to telecommunication infrastructure and customer data which are protected under the Uganda Communication Act 2013,” MTN said.

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The letter was copied to the ministers of ICT and National Guidance, Security, and Internal Affairs, Inspector General of Police and the chief of Military Intelligence.

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