The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has issued a warning to foreigners intending to travel to Kenya, as the electronic visa application system is currently facing challenges, possibly due to recent cyber attacks carried out by a Sudanese hacking group.
The Permanent Secretary of the Foreign Affairs Ministry, Korir Sing’Oei, acknowledged a “technical problem.” However, this statement came shortly after the Minister of Information and Communication Technology, Eliud Owalo, confirmed that government websites had indeed been hacked, and efforts were underway to restore them.
Among the affected websites is the E-Citizen platform, which hosts the e-Visa application and is believed to have been targeted by the hacking group known as Anonymous Sudan.
In an official communication addressed to all Diplomatic Missions and International Organizations in Kenya, the Foreign Affairs Ministry explained that the ongoing issues with the government’s e-citizen platform were hindering the processing of e-visas. Consequently, travelers are advised to obtain their visas upon arrival at any entry point to Kenya. Airlines have also been notified to accommodate travelers destined for Kenya accordingly.
The government expressed regret for the inconvenience caused by the cyber attack, particularly affecting foreign individuals who were unable to submit their e-visa applications through the E-citizen portal.
In response to the cyber attack, the government is actively working on implementing new technological measures to ensure that essential services can continue despite the security breach.
On July 27, a hacker group identifying themselves as Sudanese Anonymous claimed responsibility for the attack, stating that it was a retaliation against Kenya. The specific reasons for this alleged retaliation have not been substantiated by the group.
The government websites impacted by the cyber attack, including e-Citizen and NTSA, have been experiencing downtime since July 24. This has affected various services for Kenyan citizens, such as applications and renewals for Driving Licences, birth certificates, business registrations, marriage certificates, passports, and certificates of good conduct, among others.