ZIMBABWE was listed as the most hackable country in the world out of 183 countries on the back of having many internet protocol (IP) addresses that are still using an outdated protocol leaving firms susceptible to cyber-attacks, a new report has shown.
BY TATIRA ZWINOIRA
An IP address is the number assigned to a network-equipped piece of hardware by which other devices can identify it.
According to an American software company, Rapid7 LLC, which develops and provides security data and analytic software solutions and services, Zimbabwe ranked first out of 183 countries on the 2017 National Exposure Index.
“Zimbabwe has a total of 88 576 possible IP addresses allocated to it, and 3 295 of those addresses appear responsive to port 23 (telnet protocol), for an overall rate of 3,7% responsiveness to an exposed service,” Rapid7 said.
Basically, the telnet protocol provides access to a command-line interface usually, of an operating system on a remote host, including most network equipment and operating systems with a configuration utility including systems based on Windows NT.
The telnet protocol is a utility that mainly sits on a Windows operating system below Windows 7.
In Zimbabwe, most critical systems such as some of the ones used by banks were on lower operating systems than Windows 7 such as Windows XP.
This ranking came as the government, confirmed recently that several business and financial institutions including banks were affected by the WannaCry virus global attack in May.
The WannaCry, a ransomware crypto worm virus, targeted computers running the Microsoft Windows operating systems around the world.
Zimbabwe Information and Communication Technologies (ZICT) chairperson, Jacob Mutisi said the ranking proved government needed to create a platform for ICT experts to meet.
“It is a ZICT proposal that the government of Zimbabwe provide a platform where ICT experts meet to find a lasting solution to the use of FREE email providers. The move must be brought as a matter of urgency amid concerns about rising cybercrime and hacking incidents,” he said.
Recently, ICT, Postal and Courier Services minister Supa Mandiwanzira said the government found that two banks among several other financial institutions were affected by the WannaCry virus attack.
He added that they had brought in a South African expert to discuss security issues.