How Safaricom was hacked from prison by foreigners

The foreigner confessed to have been assisted by police officers and prison warders while in jail.

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Mohammed Sani alias Dr Mustafa, A Niger national, said that the network outage was planned and executed from his cell at Industrial Area Prison in Nairobi.

Sani had been arrested with over US$600 million (Sh70 billion) in fake currency and was brought in court to answer to handling fake money when he surprised the court with the shocking claims.

Safaricom earlier this month experienced more than one hour of outage that affected voice calls, data, M-Pesa and Enterprise services.

The service provider later attributed the network outage to a technical hitch.

However, a calm Sani told the court how the outage was part of the operations of a mobile phone hacking cartel involving hard-core prisoners, rogue police officers and prison warders operating behind prison cells.

According to reports on The Standard, Sani said police officers smuggled into his cell two laptops, which he used to hack into systems.

In what will prove as a damning statement to the National Police Service, Sani revealed that during his one and a half years he has been on remand, he had shared Sh2.5 million with rogue police officers who he claimed offered hackers protection.

Sani said he had decided to come clean on his criminal activities after he landed in trouble with prison authorities after he threatened to disclose the clandestine activities that happened within prison walls.

"When the police realised I had no more money to pay them for protection, they started harassing me. I was stripped naked, slept on wet floors and flogged. This is why I have now decided to say the truth," Sani said.

Chief Magistrate Francis Andayi said that Sani's claims could not be taken lightly and needed proper investigation.

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