Sunday, October 25, 2020

DISS under attack

Directorate of Intelligence and Security Services Director general (DIS) Brigadier Peter Magosi has suggested that the recent hacking of the spy agency’s network which has blown the cover off all Botswana spies and exposed the DIS numerical strength was one of the many attempts by saboteurs to undermine his administration.

The hack which is by far Botswana’s biggest security breach has raised fears that state subversive elements may have gained a back door into the multi-billion Pula DIS information complex.

Following the unprecedented hacking, DISS data detailing names of all its agents, their identity cards, last and first names, bank names, bank accounts, pay period, their gross income, total deductions from their salaries and place of operation were posted on Facebook page of some local newspapers. The embarrassing intelligence failure is believed to be an attempt at shaming the DISS leadership under Brig Magosi and project it like a bunch of clowns. Others close to the agency believe it was aimed warning those who depend on the spy agency for security that they are not secure.

Brig Magosi confirmed that they were investigating the security breach and insinuated that the hacking was one of the many attempts to undermine the DISS.

“You must also understand that that is not the only thing that is happening. You must understand that in any kind of transition, you will expect certain things that are not usual. I should not play as if I don’t understand. I’m alive to what is happening and therefore I should allow the transition to take its course in a controlled manner. If it goes out of the way we will hit it on the head,” he said.

Brig Magosi told Sunday Standard that “we have not arrested anyone at the moment. It will take a bit of time. It won’t be easy. But we will get there. The time will come,” said Magosi.

The DIS Act protects the identity of agents and other operations of the agency.

Sunday Standard has been informed that Magosi was under pressure from some DIS agents who wanted to the investigations to be expedited so that the perpetrators could face the wrath of the law. There are also claims that the agents also wanted action to be taken against the newspapers that published the story about DIS system being hacked. 

Magosi dismissed the allegations as baseless saying the hackers are the ones who have a case to answer.

“We are not going take action against the papers in the meantime because what the newspapers did, they alerted us. How do you alert us then we turn around and take action against you. No we can’t do that,” said Magosi.

He said there was no serious breach of the law by the newspapers because the papers did nothing wrong.

“The papers did nothing wrong. There was no breach of the law by the papers. The one who broke the law is the one who leaked the names and information and we are working on that (working on trying to arrest the suspect/s),” he said.

He added that “it shall be fine, trust me.” Magosi would not be drawn into discussing the details behind the hacking.

“I wouldn’t want to go into details. But the motive is to try to discredit the new Director General of DIS,” he said.

There are claims that some DIS agents who are loyal to the former Director General Isaac Kgosi are not happy with the way he was fired by President Mokgweetsi Masisi.

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