CA responds to Hope FM frequency infiltration allegations

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Communications Authority of Kenya has responded to the reports that have been circulating on social media that Hope FM frequencies were hacked or compromised last night.

Through its twitter handle – @CA_Kenya -, the regulator said that impressions created on social media of cyber-attacks against Hope FM were not true and it was just a technical mishap, whereby Hope FM technical staff switched off their Studio Transmitter Link (STL) to Limuru to carry out maintenance forgetting to switch off the STL receiver at Limuru.

As a result of this, noted CA, the STL receiver at Limuru picked broadcasts from adjacent transmitters, feeding the same to Hope FM transmitter keeping in mind that some of the adjacent transmitters to Hope FM include IQRA FM whose broadcasts filtered through to the transmitters of Hope FM.

On Tuesday (January 27) night, Hope FM listeners said that the radio went off air for few minutes before Islamic prayers could be heard playing then shortly afterwards, the radio went off air from 11pm. This saw the social media community take the news in a buzz.

However, it wasn’t long before the station came back on air.

In a statement posted on its website, Hope FM confirmed that there was “interference on its frequencies 93.3fm, 101.9fm, 93.9fm and online on www.hopefm.org by a foreign frequency as from 11pm on 27/1/2015 Tuesday evening to 2am on 28/1/2015 Wednesday morning.”

Hope FM stated that the interference took place while the station was conducting routine maintenance, during which there was a technical hitch at the Limuru Transmission site that led to the Hope FM frequency picking a foreign signal.

“The Hope FM Management is working with the Communications Authority of Kenya CAK to correct the anomaly,” concluded the statement.

Statements made earlier, on the Daily Nation said that a government cyber-crime expert who is not authorized to speak to the press confirmed that the frequency was indeed compromised. CA however says that this is not true.

“As the regulator of the ICT sector, @CA_Kenya routinely carries monitoring exercises to ensure such interferences are minimized,” said the authority through a tweet.

Here are the tweets from the Authority in regards to the Hope FM frequency saga:

CA @CA_Kenya: Reports have been circulating on the social media that Hope FM frequencies were hacked or compromised last night.

CA @CA_Kenya: There have been impressions created on social media of cyber-attacks against Hope FM

CA @CA_Kenya: Tuesday night around 11.30PM, Hope FM technical staff switched off their Studio Transmitter Link link to Limuru to carry out maintenance

CA @CA_Kenya :Hope FM staff only switched the Studio Transmitter Link transmitter at the studio but forgot to switch off the STL receiver at Limuru.

CA @CA_Kenya: This resulted in the STL receiver at Limuru to pick broadcasts from adjacent transmitters, feeding the same to Hope FM transmitter.

CA @CA_Kenya: This was the source of the interference experienced by Hope FM listeners last night.

CA @CA_Kenya: Some of the adjacent transmitters to Hope FM include IQRA FM whose broadcasts filtered through to the transmitters of Hope FM

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