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Ransom discussion not even a consideration says Bank of Zambia

By , ITWeb’s Zambian correspondent.
Zambia , 23 May 2022

Zambia’s Central Bank said has not and will not negotiate a ransom with a group known as Hive, believed to be behind a recent cyber-attack on the Bank’s IT systems.

The Bank’s ICT Director Greg Nsofu said there was little in the way of data loss as a result of the attack and that only some test data may have been leaked.

Nsofu said, “All of our core systems are still up running and knowing that we had protected our core systems, it was really not necessary to engage in a ransomware conversation. So, we pretty much told them where to get off.”

Earlier in the month the Bank experienced disruption to some IT applications, including its website and Bureau de Change monitoring system.

US-based cyber security company Varonis claims a group known as Hive, first observed in 2021 and an affiliate-based ransomware variant used to conduct ransomware attacks, is responsible.

According to a recent report by the South Africa Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA), the sophistication and severity of cyber security attacks have increased in the last two years as companies and organisations grapple with remote work and the migration of resources to the cloud.

Research also shows that more widespread access to smartphones, which have generally dropped in price over the last decade, means more Africans are accessing the internet more often.

The report said Africa’s raising internet connectivity and the rapid growth of mobile banking solutions have also led to an increase in software piracy among users as the original software is often too expensive.

It added: "Wherever pirated software goes, cybercriminals are sure to follow. This has resulted in the continent harbouring a proverbial next of criminal.”

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