Hackers nail Zambia’s Central Bank
The Bank of Zambia, the country's central bank, has become the latest target for cyber-criminals after its IT systems and some applications were hacked recently, and resulted in disruption to operators within the financial services market.
The incident has occurred amid warnings from the Zambia Information and Communications Technology Authority (ZICTA) about an increase in cybercrime, specifically targeting the country’s financial services market.
The regulator has identified the increase in adoption and use of the internet as a contributing factor.
Bank of Zambia Assistant Director in charge of communication Besnart Mwanza said the Bank experienced a partial disruption of its IT systems and applications.
She said the affected systems have been fully restored and urged operators within the financial services market to vigilant because the incident may not be isolated.
“The disruption which affected some systems at the bank such as the bureau de change monitoring system and the website emanated from a suspected cyber security incident,” said Mwanza.
Recently, Governor of the Bank of Zambia Denny Kalyalya emphasised the need for Zambia to enhance cyber security awareness in order to better protect consumers of digital financial services.
Kalyalya said the country’s overall financial inclusion has increased from 37.3% in 2009 to 69.4% in 2020.
He added, “There are still some challenges that we must address to fully exploit the potential of digital payment systems at both national and regional level. Specific areas that will be important for us to address is the prevalence of incidences of fraud related to digital financial services. It is imperative that cyber fraud is addressed to ensure the gains made so far in financial inclusion are maintained and enhanced. We have at our disposal several tools to address this challenge including investing in secure systems and applications, consumer awareness and knowledge sharing.”