A Kenyan hacker by the name Alex Mutuku, who worked in collaboration with an international cartel comprised of people of various nationalities, was apprehended last month by security agencies after news emerged that he hacked into the Kenyan Taxman systems and made away with millions of dollars.
Apart from that, the man is well-known for creating computer software and systems which he uses to siphon currency from large institutions such as banks, SACCOs, or any institution rendering financial services.
He approaches these organizations with the sole intent of developing software that undertakes a couple of tasks for them such as managing their database.
After getting the job, he does his part and further compromises the systems by installing malware that enables him to gain remote access to any part of the institution’s data that may be of benefit to him.
When he hacked the Kenya Revenue Authority, authorities say he had hidden a laptop in one of the secret rooms.
By installing malware, he can remotely authorize transactions through skimming.
And in the end, he would perform a bigger operation resulting in more losses.
Upon the discovery, the anti-banking fraud unit was called and ultimately apprehended the suspect.
In the end, Mutuku was arrested and charged along with some of his accomplices.
His gadgets, which include computers, mobile phones, servers, and hard drives were forwarded to the cyber forensic investigative unit for further investigations.
Prosecutors and investigators claim that the materials were immense in size, the processors were fast, and that it cannot fit in a medium sized room.
The prosecutors handling the case urged the judge to detain him for about 40 days pending investigations, as it is considered he will interfere with the ongoing investigations.
Because of this and his connections, some lead prosecutors say he is a threat to Kenya’s National Security.
Over the past two years, he is said to have stolen an amount just shy of $40 million USD.
Investigators are studying the figure to try come up with a code that was in use to siphon the funds.
The database is believed to cover several government agencies that work in collaboration with the taxman.
For example, he would assist companies and individuals to evade tax, and at the end, he would get a commission for a job well done.
This would therefore, mean that he was able to compromise the whole system to a greater extent.
Apart from that, he and his accomplices have links to several political bigwigs, making the matter complicated.
In the run up to the 2013 general elections, the same individuals are accused of meddling with the systems.
It is not known if they managed to create any damage or not, but what is known is that some government officials have accused their rivals of associating themselves with the hackers in a bid to have them interfere with the elections this year.
Mutuku is known in the eyes of the public as an individual who loves the high-end life accompanied by an extravagant lifestyle.
In his social media accounts, he posts and brags how life is enjoyable, and he emphasizes the need to live a classy way of life.
And, in some pictures, Alex shows off his house, and two rides; a motorcycle, a modified Subaru, and a pet dog.
Apart from that, he further posts pictures in various countries where he makes his leisure trips.
In one post, he boasts how he spends large and enjoys the fruits of his labour.
Earlier on he was arrested after financial institutions reported they were losing funds through untraceable fraudulent transactions.
On one occasion, together with his colleague, he hacked a top bank in Kenya and demanded bitcoins worth approximately $60,000USD at the time.
He threatened that if it was not given, he would expose the confidential information of the Bank.
After several court appearances, he was released on bail.
In his response to charges regarding the hacking of the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), he denied to either working for KRA or knowing someone who works there.
In other instances, the man has claimed to have developed an app that can download the whole of Daily Nation newspaper for free while he was still in university.
He bragged about it on one of his social media posts.
And in another instance, he is suspected to have hacked one of Kenya’s leading telecommunication companies – Safaricom- to steal airtime.
As a young man of just 28 years, Mutuku is acquainted with several court cases.In his response, he says that he makes lemonade of lemons, which arguably shows his level of determination to make it big and emerge victorious in his various court cases or any other hurdles he may come across in life.
In a previous interview, he described himself as a software developer who engages himself in a variety of IT tasks.
He further went on to say that he sells his software in the Google Play store to users who are interested.
As one would notice from the statement, there is something he is not saying.
Having graduated in 2012 from one of the leading Kenyan Universities, he was the top student in his class and attained first class honours in Information Technology.
It is here where his love and passion for technology began, and he started using his knowledge of the field to grow and develop connections.
It is no doubt that he is well known in the IT field as one of the best in the Kenyan IT industry at the moment.
Amongst his accomplices that were arrested with him include a police officer and foreigners who are assumed to have been assisting him with an ongoing plan to possibly defraud another organization of millions of dollars through cyber-crime.
Some have associated him with a Russian national, but the case is under investigation.
The case has risen more questions than answers, and many people and institutions wonder what the fate of cybercrime is and the measures that can be put in place to reduce it.
As of right now, his fate remains in the balance pending complete investigations.
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