Bank of Zambia Systems Ransomed, Bank Refuses to Pay Attacker

hive-ransomware attack at bank of Zambia
In a press release, Bank of Zambia has acknowledged a cyberattack that disrupted its systems and denying services to its clients. The affected systems that include website and forex systems have since been restored to resume banking services:

"The Bank of Zambia wishes to inform members of the public that it experienced a partial disruption to some of its Information Technology (IT) applications on Monday 9th May 2022. The disruption, which affected some systems at the Bank such as the Bureau De Change Monitoring System and the Website, emanated from a suspected cybersecurity incident. We wish to advise that these systems have since been fully restored."

The statement the bank cautions other financial services be vigilant as the incident may not be an isolated event but rather a coordinated attack on the lookout for similar victims. 

 According to Bloomberg, BOZ suffered a ransomware attack from the Hive group where the IT director is quoted saying that "not much sensitive data" has been stolen from the bank. And when the bank found out that the core systems were protected, there was no need to engage with the ransomware attackers to discusss their demands.

Deeper look into workings of Hive ransomware

According to varonis, Hive ransomware is a ransomware-as-a-service software that is sold online for actors to customize as desired to suit a particular attack. Attackers gain access to a target business network through phishing emails laced with malicious attachments, exposed user credentials and vulnerabilities in publicly accessible business assets, such as website. 

Once inside a business network, the attackers disable antimalware systems, listen in on network communications via a backdoor, steal critical business data and thereafter encrypt business files. Thus, its important to patch any security weaknesses in business websites that can serve as a gateway to ransomware attackers. 

Africa is particularly vulnerable to cyberattacks due to reduction in mobile phones prices that are enabling more africans to access the the Internet on their devices. Be on your guard, backup your data, practice phishing to easily recognise tricks of a fake email, take free cybersecurity courses, establish basic guidelines in your business and when you fall prey to a ransomware attack, use the free ransomware decryptors and removal tools to regain access to your files without paying ransom.

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