HomeBusinessWannaCry virus affected local banks: Govt

WannaCry virus affected local banks: Govt


The government says it has identified two banks which were among several institutions affected by the WannaCry virus global attack from May 12 to 15 that affected a cross section of institutions.


Speaking to NewsDay on the sidelines of the third Mobile Money and Digital Payments Conference Zimbabwe and Business Editors Awards, Information, Communication and Technology and Courier Services Supa Mandiwanzira said they knew from very well-placed people that one or two banks were affected.

“We will not have details because no one really reported, but the fact of the matter is that it obviously negatively impacted on several businesses,” he said.

“The impact would have been the same with what happened with other businesses, when they did not have their information and had to pay ransom in order to re-access their files.
“I do not have specific details about the banks, but we know from very well-placed people that one or two banks were affected.”

In May, hackers instituted the WannaCry, a ransomware cryptoworm virus, that targeted computers running the Microsoft Windows operating system around the world.

The WannaCry virus encrypted data and demanded ransom payments in Bitcoin cryptocurrency to unlock that data.

For banks, the exposure meant depositors’ private information and funds were under the control of hackers.

If true, Mandiwanzira’s revelation may point to local banks having weak ICT security systems that were susceptible to virus attacks that threaten funds held by depositors.

A few days after the WannaCry virus global attack, Zimbabwe Information and Communication Technologies (ZICT) were the first to warn that a number of local financial institutions and businesses may have been affected.

ZICT chairperson, Jacob Mutisi said banks kept quiet for their own gains, as they knew revealing such an attack would leave them open to lawsuits.

Mandiwanzira did not name the affected banks and said they had brought in a South African expert to discuss security issues.

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