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MTN explains Saturday Mobile Money service breakdown

The huge system breakdown which some industry experts had described as a major hack on the company’s mobile money system was a routine maintenance, according to the giant telecom operator.

The huge system breakdown was described by industry experts as a major hack on the company’s mobile money system

KAMPALA, UGANDA: MTN Uganda has finally spoken out on the Saturday breakdown in its Mobile Money Service system that hampered operations and transactions countrywide for hours.

MTN responding to the incident acknowledged the Saturday system breakdown which it says impacted transactions but was later fixed by its technical team and the system restored to full service.

The huge system breakdown which some industry experts described as a major hack on the company’s mobile money system was a routine maintenance, according to the giant telecom operator.

“Over the last weekend, our customers experienced service disruptions following routine maintenance implemented during the service window on March 11th, 2022,” MTN said in a statement released on Monday, March 14, 2022.

Despite several MTN customers and agents claiming to have lost money during the downtime period, MTN said its not aware of any funds lost.

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“MTN Uganda reassures its esteemed customers and the general public that there has been no loss of funds on our clients’ accounts. We regret any inconveniences caused by the system intermittences. Customers may contact us through social media or our call center for further assistance related to their individual accounts” the company wrote.

About two years ago, MTN Uganda also experienced a huge system breakdown. Reports indicated that it was a result of a security breach on a consumer finance aggregator, Pegasus Technologies.

At least $3.2 million is estimated to have been stolen in last such incident with some reports quoting a much higher figure. The hackers used around 2,000 mobile SIM cards to gain access to the mobile money payment system, reports indicated. They then instructed the banks to transfer millions of dollars to telecommunication companies who then paid out mobile money to these different SIM cards across the country.

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The Uganda Police Annual Crime and Road Safety Report of 2019 showed more than 41 billion Ugandan Shillings ($11m) was lost to criminals through cyber crimes including swapping SIM cards and hacking digital financial accounts last year



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