SSS Makes Arrests, Hunt Suspects Responsible For Data Leakage

SSS Makes Arrests, Hunt Suspects Responsible For Data Leakage

The State Security Service has begun hunting for those behind the leakage of the data of its personnel on the Internet.

Investigations on Tuesday showed that the agency had begun a serious investigation into the security breach.

Some suspects, it was learnt, had been arrested in connection with the incident.

Though the identity of the suspects and their numbers could not be immediately ascertained, it was learnt that those arrested were cooperating and giving information that could assist investigators in apprehending the brain behind the data leakage.

Findings indicated that the agency was working on the theory that the masterminds of the leak had internal collaborators.

Investigators were said to be beaming their searchlight on SSS personnel in its accounts and pension department as well as the Pension Commission and other ministries it had had financial dealings with.

The Associated Press had on Thursday reported that the personal data of 60 personnel, including the agency’s Director-General, Ekpenyong Ita, were leaked to the Internet by suspected sympathisers of the militant Islamic sect, Boko Haram.

The name, mobile number, next-of-kin, bank account details and other private information of the personnel were exposed online, an action that threatened the career, life and family of the agents.

The SSS Deputy Director, Media and Public Relations, Marilyn Ogar, had denied the data leakage, describing the AP report as false.

Ogar said, “The report is false because the AP reporter that filed the story failed to give me the link to the website that allegedly published the personal data of our personnel.

“How come it was only the AP reporter that saw the website? Besides, he had published his story before calling me for reactions. That is what he did the other time when he published a false report that government planned to build a special prison for Boko Haram suspects in Lagos; I don’t know where he gets these unsubstantiated stories that he publishes.”

However, The PUNCH on Monday, reported that two weeks after a list containing the private data of 60 serving and former SSS agents found its way to the Internet, the names, addresses and next-of-kin of the operatives were yet to be completely removed from the web.

But The PUNCH finding showed that the original story that attracted the comment had been deleted and the comment removed.

However, when The PUNCH ran a check on the Internet using two of the names of the compromised agents as keywords, the list of the agents, and their contact details were found in the cache of the news website.

Our correspondent learnt that the SSS had given the investigation into the leak top priority because it was being treated as a direct attack on the agency and a breach meant to undermine its ability to carry out its responsibility of internal security.

“All the information about our personnel leaked to the Internet is true and that is why the authority designated the investigation into the leaks as a top priority because it is a direct attack on the SSS.

“We have made some arrests and we are confident that we will soon get others behind the leakage,” a source explained.

Meanwhile, the police have detained the deputy Speaker, Adamawa State House of Assembly, Kwamoti Laori, for allegedly having links with terrorists that precipitated a violent clash in Ngbalang community, Numan Local Government Area of Adamawa State on January 12,2012.

The lawmaker had visited the Special Anti-robbery Squad office in Abuja on Monday with his lawyer, but he was asked to write a statement and was later detained.





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