The Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) expects to re-start processing applications for construction projects on Thursday, June 24 after a three-week disruption.
The disruption was blamed on hackers who, working with insiders, infiltrated the e-construction development plans application system and issued at least 18 approvals for projects around the city. Developers had complained of mounting losses after the system was taken offline following the hack.
NMS Director-General Mohammed Badi disclosed that they had to rope in experts from the Ministry of ICT to secure the platform.
“We suspended the system to seal the loophole that the hackers were using to make illegal approvals.
“We then called in technology experts from the Ministry of ICT and it took us almost two weeks to get the system rectified. From Thursday we are beginning the processing again,” he stated.
The hackers are alleged to have targeted the system’s Quick Response (QR) code system, enabling them to issue digitally signed approvals.
Badi disclosed that some of the alleged hackers had since been arrested following investigations by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI).
He blamed the hack on the lack of upgrades on the system since it was installed four years ago.
He accused the Nairobi County government for failing to update the platform after it was handed over by the World Bank contractor who built it.
“Unfortunately, after the one year grace period of handing over to the county, the lease of maintenance by the World Bank’s contractor ceased and the county was supposed to take over and upgrade it. That system has not been upgraded for the last four years,” he stated.