News reaching Codered Uganda’s news desk is that unidentified, but believed to be powerful hackers on Friday, October 28 broke into Airtel Mobile Commerce Uganda Limited (AMCUL) systems— making off with an amount estimated be over UGX 30 billion.
Some sources are however, quoting a much higher figure. The news was first reported by CEO East Africa Magazine and later by Ug Standard on Saturday evening.
AMCUL, a subsidiary of Airtel Uganda, trades as Airtel Money.
The CEO Magazine quoting unnamed sources reports that the hackers gained unauthorized access to the Airtel Money central systems and wired money to bank accounts in various banks connected to the Airtel to Bank Wallet services.
The money was then evacuated via several banking agents across the country as well as mobile money agents.
However, a sudden spike in transactions on the accounts that were previously dormant, alerted the banks and Airtel who immediately shut down the Airtel to Bank Wallet services before probing the matter .
David Birungi, the Airtel Uganda Public Relations Manager, Airtel Uganda could neither deny nor confirm the incident.
Birungi who confirmed the shutdown in services described the incident as a technical glitch “with our Bank to Wallet and Bulk payments system yesterday.”
“We suspended the services, affecting some customers and partners, to allow the technical teams time to resolve the challenges,” Birungi was quoted as saying.
“We are restoring services in a phased manner. By end of day (Saturday) ALL will be up and running,” he said.
Asked if the said “technical challenges” were fraudulent in nature, Mr. Birungi, simply said,
“It’s too early to know if there was fraudulent intent.”