Hacking and Cybercrime in Ghana: what does the law say?

Cybercrime is said to be using computers to do illegal activities or unlawfully entering computer systems to cause harm and profit off it.

Cybercrime is an enemy of the law worldwide as in America. The FBI keeps updating its list of most-wanted cyber criminals. Ghana is known to have one of the highest cybercrime activities and ranked 2nd some years back.

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The government was forced to implement policies to curb this menace, including a cybersecurity maturity study executed by the Ministry of Communications.

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Leading Causes of Cybercrime in Ghana

Cybercriminals look for easy ways to make big money. They target rich people or wealthy organizations like banks, casinos, financial firms, and business owners where a considerable amount of cash flows daily and hack sensitive and vulnerable information.

Catching such criminals is difficult because they work behind their PCs, and you won’t see them in person.

They work with VPNs so people won’t track their locations, hence increasing the number of cyber-crimes across the country. Computers are vulnerable, so laws are required to protect and safeguard them against cybercriminals.

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For this reason, many hackers’ works are made less stressful. Below are some of the reasons for the vulnerability of computers.

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Negligence

Humans can’t help but be negligent sometimes; it’s part of our human conduct. However, this slight negligence on our side allows the hackers to hack into your system. 

Storing data in a comparatively small area

Because the computer has a unique feature of storing many data in a very small space, hackers find it very easy to access this data because they’ve all been compressed in a single space. 

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The unavailability of evidence

Due to how these hackers do their work, the law finds it hard to gather evidence to arrest them. They use VPNs so their locations can’t be tracked and use other individuals’ identities, thereby covering their tracks very well. 

Types of Cybercrime in Ghana

There are different types of Cybercrime in the world. Below I’ll list and discuss the different types of Cybercrime in Ghana. 

Identity theft

Identity theft occurs when someone uses another person’s personal identifying information, like their name, identifying number, or credit card number, without their permission to commit fraud or other crimes.

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A criminal accesses data about a person’s bank account, credit cards and other personal credentials. It has become a major problem with people using the internet for cash transactions and banking services. 

Online illegal selling

Illegal products in the country cannot be traded in the outer environment like other products, so these traders do it on the black market. These products include weapons, drugs and human organs in extreme cases. 

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Fraud calls

Fraud calls are the most common ones in Ghana. I’m sure you must have heard situations like this. Individuals call you claiming they’ve mistakenly sent money to your mobile money account, and whilst talking to you, they process the details of your account and steal money from your mobile money account. This type of criminal activity is called “phishing”. 

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What the authorities are doing about Cybercrime in Ghana

The government has come together and implemented policies to curb the criminal activities of hackers in the country; 

Policies have been implemented

Section 66D of the IT Act prescribes punishment for ‘cheating by personation by using computer resource’ and provides that any person who by means of any communication device or computer resource cheats by personation, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to 3 (three).

A national security centre was launched to monitor activities of Cybercrime. 

The internet has become a critical infrastructure and facilitator of engagements for individual users, businesses, and governments across the globe.

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In Ghana, the increasing reliance on the internet and Information Communication Technology has led to increased cybersecurity incidents such as ransomware, cyber theft, banking fraud, cyber espionage and other cyber-attacks targeted at critical information infrastructure.

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These cybersecurity incidents have affected critical sectors of the country, including energy, telecommunications, banking and finance, and have caused disruptions in the delivery of essential services. If unchecked, it can undermine the security and economy of the country.

The government has implemented some initiatives through the Ministry of Communications to improve Ghana’s cybersecurity development.

These include the revision of Ghana’s National Cybersecurity Policy and Strategy, the establishment of the National Cyber Security Centre, the launch of the Safer Digital Ghana campaign, the launch of Cybercrime and Cybersecurity Incident Reporting Points of Contact.

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Others include the establishment of the Computer Emergency Response Teams (CERT) at the National Communications Authority (NCA) and the Security Operations Centre’s at both the Bank of Ghana and the National Information Technology Agency (NITA), as well as capacity building on Cybercrime for the criminal justice sector.

Conclusion

Many people have lost money from these cybercriminals; some have still not even spoken about it. It’s a big menace to society and industry, and we all need to take cybersecurity seriously.

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