MTN, Airtel, and Stanbic IBTC Bank have fallen victim to a mobile money heist in Uganda. Unidentified hackers broke into the systems of Pegasus Technologies, a company that integrates mobile money transactions and international money transfer services.
Launched in 2007, Pegasus Technologies handles up to UGX1.7 trillion financial transactions annually. PegPay payments platform, its flagship product is currently being used by several institutions to manage financial transactions for both internal and external purposes.
Luckily, the incident had no impact on any balances on the bank and mobile money accounts. The statement read, “Our technical teams are analyzing the incident and will restore services as soon as possible. We apologize to all customers for any inconvenience that this has caused and reiterate our commitment to delivering seamless banking and mobile money services.”
MTN possesses 55% of and Airtel possesses 35% of the telco market share in Uganda. Stanbic Bank facilitates the majority of mobile money transactions and is the largest bank in Uganda. The CEOs of Stanbic Bank, MTN, and Airtel Uganda released a joint statement on October 5th to confirm the incident. All mobile money and wallet services have since been temporarily suspended.
The hackers were able to withdraw almost UGX1.3 billion between Thursday and Saturday. The electronic fraud incident has been reported to the police to commence investigations.