October 20, 2016

Kenyan teenager plans ‘hacker school’ to help Africa build next Google


Martha Chumo, a 19-year-old self-taught programmer, was supposed to be in New York right now, honing her coding skills and mastering cutting-edge technologies in the company of fellow software enthusiasts. Instead, she’s thousands of miles away, in her hometown of Nairobi, Kenya. A few months ago, Chumo was accepted into the summer intake of Hacker School, a U.S.-based “retreat for hackers,” where budding programmers come together for three months to write code, learn new languages and share industry insights. Whereas the programming boot camp was free to attend, Chumo still needed to find a way to cover her trip costs and buy…

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Kenyan Hacker with a mission to correct costly omissions


Had Fredrick Wahome been driven by greed, he would be raking in more than Sh2 million hacking into companies’ and banks’ systems, not the Sh1 million that he and his three partners make every month. The 27-year-old software engineer is the managing director of Secunets Technologies Group, an information technology company that specialises in data security. He and his colleagues have been contracted by banks, insurance companies, and revenue authorities from as far as Rwanda, Uganda, and Zimbabwe to make their systems impregnable to hackers. Wahome lists the Bank of Kigali and the Ugandan Revenue Authority, as well as Kenya’s…

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How I ‘stole’ $14 million from a bank: A security tester’s tale


In early 2010, Nish Bhalla sat down at his computer with one objective: steal a huge amount of money from a bank. It wasn’t a typical heist. Bhalla is the chief executive of Security Compass, a company that tests security systems at banks, retailers, energy companies and other organizations with sensitive data. His clients — including the bank branch in the United States that he targeted in his 2010 attack — pay him to break into their systems. It can be easier than most people think. The alleged thieves who made headlines last week for their $45 million bank heist…

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Video: Solar-powered plane wraps first leg of flight across US


(Reuters) – The flight from San Fransisco to Phoenix took 18 hours and 18 minutes on Saturday – and didn’t use a drop of fuel. A solar-powered airplane that developers hope eventually to pilot around the world landed safely in Phoenix on the first leg of an attempt to fly across the United States using only the sun’s energy, project organizers said. The plane, dubbed the Solar Impulse, took 18 hours and 18 minutes to reach Phoenix on the slow-speed flight, completing the first of five legs with planned stops in Dallas, St. Louis and Washington on the way to…

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11 Kenyans start nuclear training in South Korea


A team of 11 Kenyan students have commenced training in a South Korean nuclear graduate school in a move aimed at boosting local capacity for nuclear energy generation. The 11 who are drawn from various parastatals in the Ministry of Energy are undertaking postgraduate studies in Nuclear Science at the Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) training school, Vision 2030 Delivery Secretariat, director general, Mugo Kibati has said. This is part of the government master plan to increase Kenya’s installed electricity capacity to over 19,000MW in the next two decades through diversification. “As part of the wider effort to enhance and…

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Caution amid euphoria over Kenya’s Konza Silicon Savannah


Kenya gave the world two groundbreaking innovations in technology: M-Pesa, a mobile banking system, and Ushahidi, a platform for crowdsourcing information during disasters. It is now taking its technological talents to new heights. The East African nation of Kenya has just started construction on a 5,000-acres piece of land in Konza, about 60km south of Nairobi, to turn the savannah area into “the most modern city in Africa”. Using the same company that designed Brooklyn’s Barclays Center in New York City, SHoP Architects, Kenyan authorities want to transform Nairobi’s Konza City into Africa’s technology hub, dubbed Silicon Savannah, similar to…

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Copy Cat targets top Kenyan IT graduates for training


Copy Cat Ltd has stepped up the scramble for top IT graduates from local universities with its graduate management trainee program targeting 100 trainees by 2015. The programme launched early this month is aimed at equipping the graduates with practical skills in computer hardware and software that meet the industry demands. The firm joins other IT firms such as Safaricom, Telkom Kenya and Airtel that have similar management trainee programs aimed at aligning what the graduates learnt in college and the market needs. Copy Cat has recruited seven graduates for the 2013 program and whom it says it will be…

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Kenyan techies enticed to develop Africa’s top travel app

Africa App

Nairobi — Kenyan developers will have the chance to win nearly Sh840,000 in the Africa App Quest, an initiative that challenges talented developers to build a home-grown travel app, specially designed for the tourism sector in Africa. The Africa App Quest, which is being sponsored by Visa and South African Tourism, is built on the growing use of apps for travel and to capitalise on the continent’s growing popularity as a global tourist destination. According to research commissioned by the World Bank, even with the economic slowdown, sub-Sahara Africa’s travel and tourism industry is expected to achieve an annual growth…

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Google Kenya site hit by cyber-attack


Global technology giant Google has been the victim of a cyber-attack. On Monday morning, their Kenyan domain google.co.ke did not have the usual doodle and search bar, instead the page splayed a black background ‘hacked’ stamped in red across it. The hacker who identified himself as TiGER-M@TE also said that he was from Bangaldesh, a country in South East Asia. When a user visited the page the hacked screen spiraled in as some foreign music played in the background. News of the cyber-attack spread on social media causing the site’s to link shoot to the top of the trends. Social media users…

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Harvard team on a mission to light up Kenyan rural homes


Many Kenyans dream of getting their homes connected to the electric power grid. For many, this remains just that; a dream. But things may soon change if a team of engineers from Harvard University has its way. These engineers are determined to see rural homes across Kenya gain access to affordable power and clean water from wells and boreholes. One of the team experts, 26-year-old Sam Slaughter, the brains behind WindGen Power East Africa Limited, says the team aims to enable Kenyans to put the provision of energy in their own hands since access to electricity can transform the country….

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