Tanzania says it has lost $6 million through cyber-related fraud crimes which mostly involve card skimming and Automated Teller Machine (ATM) thefts.
“As of now there are over 300 cybercrime cases being investigated, some of which are about to be benched in courts of law,” said Patrick Makungu, the Permanent Secretary (PS) Ministry of Communications, Science and technology in the country.
Makungu was speaking at the fourth International Commission on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in the South (COMSATS) conference, which was held in Dar es Salaam.
The conference aims at providing a forum for the young scientists from developing countries to learn about the latest advancements in the field of internet security and promote the use of great technologies.
The minister said the country is embracing Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) as a key enabler for social and economic development, adding that it has become pervasive in all hosts of the daily activities.
According to a 2012 report, Tanzania has an estimated 27 million mobile phone subscribers and for this reason the PS said the country needs to put major focus in fighting these crimes that are growing as technology advances.
“It has been predicted that traditional crimes we see today will move to cybercrime and the need for us to get prepared for them is highly needed,” said Makungu.
With the existence of money transfer services in the country including M-Pesa, Tigo Pesa, Airtel Money and Eazy Money, Tanzania has become vulnerable to cyber-crime and fraud as these services provide opportunities for cybercrime.
The COMSATS conference addressed issues on network security, modern attacks, evasion techniques and defences, malicious code analysis and detection, information security assessment and management among others.