Wednesday, May 29News That Matters

Celebrating October ‘Cyber Crime Month’

Cyber crime is any activity committed using a computer especially to illegally access, transmit, or manipulate data and Cyber security is the art of protecting networks, devices, and data from unauthorized access or criminal use and the practice of ensuring confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information.
Cyber Crime/Security awareness initiative from the Directorate of
Information and Communication Technology, Uganda Police Force is aimed at
increasing the understanding of cyber threats and empowering the people of
Uganda to be safer and more secure online.

Today’s virtual environment provides new opportunities, both good and bad,
making cyber vigilance and awareness more important than ever.
The Annual Crime Reports (ACR) of 2018, 2019 and 2020 that were prepared by
the Directorate of Criminal Investigations showed a drastic increase in Cyber
related cases from 198 to 248 to 256 respectively with Electronic fraud taking the highest
Many banks and telecom companies in Uganda lost money to a tune Shs.11.4bn shillings according to the ACR 2019.
Our biggest concern is the lack of awareness around cybersecurity and its impacts
on a person’s life, identity and work. Humans are one of the most common causes
of a business being held by ransomware or crippled by malware, data breaches or
plain financial fraud. Their inadvertent clicking on an attachment eg photos and email link among others, sharing personal information or carrying an infection into work on their mobile device can cause these types of issues.
Many people have engaged in cybercrime without knowing the implications while others have fallen victims but they don’t know what to do. Some of the cyber offences as stipulated in the computer Misuse Act (CMA) and other relevant laws include the following;
Unauthorized access contrary to section 12(CMA)
Access with intent to commit or facilitate the commission of a further offence
Section 13(CMA)
Unauthorized modification of computer material, Section 14(CMA)
Unauthorized use or interception of computer service, section 15 (CMA)
Unauthorized obstruction of computer use, section 16(CMA)
Unauthorized disclosure of access code, section 17,
Unauthorized disclosure of information, section 18
Electronic fraud, Section 19
Child pornography, section 23
Cyber harassment, section 24,
Offensive communication, section 25
Cyber stalking, section 26
The above cyber offenses carry different punishments on conviction ranging from
imprisonment not exceeding 3 year or fine not exceeding two hundred and forty
currency points or both to imprisonment not exceeding 15years or fine not
exceeding 360 currency points or both.
However, if offenses under section 12, 14, 15 and 16 are involving protected
computers, the offender is liable on conviction to imprisonment for life instead of
the punishment prescribed under the given section.
Section 21 and 22 of the CMA makes attempt and abetment offenses to. The person
who attempts to commit an offence whether he succeeds on not and one who abets
another person in committing an offence is liable on conviction to the punishment
prescribed for the offence.
Ugandans will continue to fall prey to cyber attacks unless we all recognize the
need for training and a deeper understanding of CYBER security threats.
At Uganda police Force, we are determined to train Ugandans around security best
practices and the various methodologies used by the cyber criminals. People need to
stop thinking that phishing and ransomware only happen in other countries or big
businesses—everyone is vulnerable.
As police, especially in the department of electronic counter measures, we call upon all Ugandans to be vigilant with their gadgets and pin codes such that they don’t fall victims of cyber crime.
We look forward to delivering more insights into the importance of cyber security
awareness training and thwarting the cyber criminals in our midst.

The writer is the Head Cyber Crime & Cyber Security Awareness Campaign under the Department of Electronic Counter Measures, Directorate of ICT- Uganda Police Force.

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