MEW systems hacked, electricity bills altered

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KUWAIT CITY, May 11: Sources within the Ministry of Electricity, Water, and Renewable Energy disclosed that the investigation into a seven-member gang’s infiltration of the Ministry’s computer systems and subsequent manipulation of bills values after official working hours has been sent to the Public Funds Prosecution, reports Al-Jarida daily. The purpose of this referral is to ascertain the extent of the financial losses incurred through this illicit activity and to initiate steps to recover the misappropriated state funds. The daily quoting sources said, following the conclusion of investigations by the Public Prosecution, the case file was passed on to the Cybercrimes Prosecution before reaching the Public Funds Prosecution.

The latter is tasked with assessing the tampered bill amounts and identifying the beneficiaries of this tampering to facilitate the recovery of misused funds. Investigations have revealed that the system breach was likely facilitated by an insider at the Ministry who collaborated with the gang and possessed sufficient training to manipulate the system. In response to this breach, the Ministry of Electricity has implemented stringent measures to limit the number of authorized personnel with access to the system. Moreover, the issuance of large bills with significant financial implications is now restricted to heads of customer service offices exclusively.

Last August, the Ministry of Electricity unveiled the tampering incident, prompting an investigation by the Electronic Crimes Department following a complaint lodged by the Ministry. Upon inspection of the Ministry’s premises and electronic systems, it was discovered that unauthorized users, including individuals not affiliated with the Ministry, had accessed the system, indicating security vulnerabilities that had been exploited. Subsequent monitoring and surveillance efforts confirmed the system breach, leading to the referral of the case to the Public Prosecution for further inquiry. In another development, a joint team from the Ministries of Electricity and Works conducted a site visit to sections of the new T2 airport project. This project will incorporate the installation of solar panels to generate 17 megawatts of energy from renewable sources. The team affirmed that the solar panel project will adhere to specified locations and meet requisite standards, with the energy generated contributing to the operational efficiency of the airport project by alleviating electrical loads.

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