Hacking of MPESA it is

An article by the New York Times republished on the East African Why SIM swaps are a growing security problem explains how the SIM Swap Problem is not going away anytime soon. In Kenya, and as I explained in this article about MPESA Fraudsters, SIM Swap is one of the leading methods MPESA conmen and women use to steal money from unsuspecting MPESA users. Hacking of MPESA, although prevalent, are done by small time hackers targeting individuals from whom they steal a few thousands shillings every now and then, but nothing that happens in hacking of MPESA warrants global attention.

But is it possible to hack the MPESA System itself? A few months ago a loophole was found in Safaricom System made many get a lot of free data and airtime through the Safaricom Platinum and Safaricom FLEX services. When this happened, the question in many minds was, “how safe is MPESA?”.

It is the same question that has got a Kenyan Film Producer thinking; can the possibility of hacking MPESA be explored? Can a movie be made that highlights any possibilities of hacking MPESA, not from an end user perspective, but from the network itself? What if, for example, a hacker got a way to hack into the MPESA System where he or she diverted the funds from multiple MPESA accounts to an offshore bank somewhere, where in the process he or she would be able to by-pass all the security measures currently in place?

But the producer doesn’t just have the hacking of MPESA idea in mind, that’s why he asked me to run a poll to ask Kenyans on the type of a movie they’d like to see. Other movie ideas in the poll include Domestic Violence, Bank Heist, and a Local Superhero story like that of Lwanda Magere. The poll went up yesterday both at @Kachwanya and @ChetenetKE twitter accounts and so far performed according the results below:

And judging by that performance, Kenyans would really love to see how hacking of MPESA is possible.

Odipo Riaga
Managing Editor at KachTech Media
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