East African Police to open joint Cyber Crime unit

Posted on January 24, 2014 11:49 pm

The East African Police counterparts are expected to open a new cyber crime office in response to a growing number of cyber offenses in the region that are also becoming increasingly complex. The partnership is expected to be between police from all East African countries and not between the governments as such. Regional experts hopes eventually all regional police across East Africa will have a cyber office and there are also plans to expand partnerships with other countries, outside the East African Community member states. Multiple studies have shown that cyber crime in the region has reached an alarming rate with an equally alarming level of sophistication. Police across East Africa are said to have received at least 5,000 reports linked to cyber crimes in the last quarter of 2013. Cyber crimes are often related to other crimes like terrorism funding and communication between terrorism suspects. And the intensity of the cyber criminals is also alarming with Kenya being cited by various reports as the most affected. Even the government’s websites are hacked into every now and then. However, credible studies have identified the banking servers as the most vulnerable as well as government offices and this means the region could be ruined.

The region governments are expected to disburse more than $3 million for establishing the investigation offices expected to help police from all five East African countries investigate cross-border cyber crimes. Most insiders hope that this cooperation will provide a positive effect in handling cyber crimes. The offices would provide East African investigators opportunities to build their capacity in handling cyber crimes. The new offices will be equipped with the latest equipment to analyze cyber crimes as well as to extract and secure digital evidence. Foreign experts are expected to provide East African investigators with training to handle cyber crime cases. Also, the region is expected to establish a unified system, from the handling of digital forensic evidence to the format of reports that can be used a court of law. The bottom line is for investigators from East African countries to share information about investigation techniques. Cyber crimes are evolving so fast because cyber criminals are creative and innovative. In a matter of minutes there can be new crimes with new methods, which is why the five countries enforcement authorities need to work together.

Contador Harrison