By Taddeo Bwambale and Raymond Baguma
The Uganda Communications Commission has set up a Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) to improve and secure communication services in the country.
The regulator of communication services in the country in a notice on Monday said that the CERT will complement the National CERT which is under the National Information and Technology Authority (NITA-U).
The communication companies and internet service providers in the country will constitute the computer emergency response team which was inaugurated on June 6 this year.
The unit prowls the internet to monitor and report high-tech crimes including cyber-based terrorism, computer intrusions, online sexual exploitation, and major cyber frauds.
In an interview, the UCC director for technology and licensing, Eng. Patrick Mwesigwa said the regulator had also acquired equipment to be used to monitor such crimes.
The facility will reduce the infiltration of malicious content such as malware, viruses and spam, as well as enhance security of online access in the country.
Government hired a team of experts to trace suspected cases of abuse, with the help of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), a specialized agency of the UN.
The Malaysian based ITU that has set up cyber-crime detection and prevention centres for many governments, institutions and organizations across the World will also provide training to Ugandan officials who will man Uganda’s centre. The initiative is dedicated to enhancing the global community’s capacity to prevent, defend and respond to cyber threats.
The latest annual Police Crime and Traffic Report 2012 indicates that cybercrime which focuses on mobile money and Automated Teller Machine (ATM) fraud, was responsible for the loss of about sh1.5b.
The frauds targeted individuals and private corporate bodies like banks, nongovernmental organizations, and religious organizations.
According to the report sh207m was transferred without the authority of telecom service providers between August and November last year. The Police blame the spike in cybercrimes on the increase in the number of conmen commonly who exploit the lax laws.
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Uganda sets up unit to fight cyber crime