Man in court for trying to hack Safaricom app

Milimani Law Court. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Milimani Law Court. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

A State corporation engineer has been charged before a Nairobi court with unlawfully sending millions of queries to the Safaricom #ticker:SCOM app system allegedly with the intention of committing fraud.

Patrick Gachie Gatuma was charged with unauthorised access to protected systems contrary to section 84f of the Kenya Information and Communication Act no 1 of 2009.

The charge sheet stated the offence was committed on diverse dates between April 24th and 30th this year.

A person charged under that section, if found guilty and convicted, would be liable to a fine not exceeding one million shillings or imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years jail term or both.

Mr Gatuma allegedly unlawfully and with intent to defraud accessed the Safaricom App using a laptop and mobile phone with Safaricom line 0725013663 and surged the system with 24,258,730 queries.

Not first time

Nairobi Chief Magistrate Francis Andayi heard that it was not the first time the suspect to sent such queries based on the historical data associated to his access to that system.

His lawyer Javan Otieno told the court his client was recently arrested and produced before a Nairobi court with police seeking time to complete investigations.

Mr Otieno stated that Mr Gatuma was released on Sh20,000 bond pending the outcome of the investigations.

“This is not the first time he has been arraigned in court over the same offences. We do pray that the honourable court releases him on the similar Sh30,000 bond term,” he said Tuesday.

The lawyer also requested that he be supplied with evidence and other materials that the prosecution intends to use in the case.

However, principal prosecution counsel Solomon Naulikha opposed the application stating that there is change of circumstance in the case.

“Your honour, we are not opposed to the bond application. We however opposed the ground taken by the defence because of change of circumstance. The person before you was initially a suspect but is now an accused person,” added Mr Naulikha.

In his ruling, Chief Magistrate Andayi directed that the suspect be released on Sh500,000 bond with a surety of similar amount or alternative Sh 300,000 cash bail.

The case is scheduled for hearing on July 7, 2018.