Monday, 9 July 2018

MTN Uganda protests unauthorized entry into their data centre

MTN chief Mbire reads a statement to the press. COURTESY PHOTO
MTN Uganda has protested last week's raid on their data centre in the city by heavily armed men from the Internal Security Organisation (ISO).

The Ugandan telecom giants insisted that despite the breach, no customer data was compromised at the Mutundwe centre, just outside Kampala. 

In a press briefing on Monday, MTN Uganda also announced  that contrary to various print and social media reports, they are not aware of any investigation into alleged breach of national security involving it or tax evasion on its part. 

"Contrary to various print and social media reports, MTN Uganda is not aware of any investigation into alleged breach of national security involving it or tax evasion on its part," asserted Charles Mbire, chairman board of directors of MTN Uganda on Monday. 

Some social media reports have in the past week related the incident to ongoing investigations in the murder of former Police spokesman Felix Kaweesi. Others had linked the incident to President Yoweri Museveni's recent statement on the newly introduced social media tax, where he lashed out at telecoms he did not name, for dodging taxes. 

Mbire said they are committed to collaborating with the Uganda Police and other security agencies as they investigate the incident of "kidnap, trespass and unauthorized access into the MTN data center."

MTN has formally reported the matter to the Uganda Communication Commission and also opened a case at CID Headquarters- Kibuli under reference number GEF 727/2018.

ISO confirms search

While ISO initially did not deny or confirm the incident, Director General, Col.Kaka Bagyenda confirmed the raid hours after the MTN presser which he said was part of ongoing investigations.

“It’s true we did it because there were things we are investigating like we do to other companies,” Col.Kaka told journalists at ISO headquarters in Nakasero. (related video bottom)

'MTN systems intact'

At the same briefing, MTN General Manager Corporate Affairs Anthony Katamba told the press their systems had not been breached. 

"No customer data was compromised in the incident at the MTN Data Center on Monday, 2 July 2018. They managed to get into our facility using one of the security officers that was kidnapped but they failed to access any information due to our multi-layered security system."

"We have reviewed footage from the incident and we can confirm that no information was compromised."

He said two employees of Huawei who withdraw from the switch were left on the premises by the "kidnappers" and they are safe. 

"Security at all our installations has been beefed up. The government is working closely with us to get to the bottom of this matter. We are not going to let our staff be targets of criminally minded people," Katamba said. 

MTN have made a complaint to the security organs and are waiting for a report about the incident. "We handed over CCTV footage to help with the investigations,"  Katamba said.

Launched in 1998, MTN Uganda is the leading telecommunications operator in Uganda, offering mobile and fixed telecommunications, mobile money services and internet service. As at December 2017, MTN Uganda recorded 10.7 subscribers across uganda. It is a part of MTN Group that is listed on the JSE in South Africa.


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