Cyber attacks are threatening the national government network

On May 13, the Bank of Zambia announced that it suffered a suspicious cyber attack on May 9 (last Monday), and some information technology applications were interrupted, including the monitoring system and website of the administration of foreign exchange. According to Bloomberg, the Bank of Zambia said it would not pay ransom to hive extortion software gangs. Previously, hive Gang launched an attack on the bank, but the damage to the system was quite limited. The Bank of Zambia is the Central Bank of Zambia, a landlocked country in South Central Africa. Zambia joined the “the Belt and Road” initiative in 2018. Zambia China Economic and trade cooperation zone is the first overseas economic and trade cooperation zone established by China in Africa. Greg nsofu, director of information and communication technology of the Bank of Zambia, said in an interview, “all our core systems are still running, and there are not many really leaked sensitive data.” At present, only some test data may be actually leaked. Bleepingcomputer also found that on hive’s corresponding ransom payment negotiation page, someone abused hive’s Gang, and many security people believed that this might be a response from the Bank of Zambia. The Bank of Zambia urged the financial industry to remain vigilant, as such attacks may not be isolated. On May 14, the website of the Bank of Zambia was also temporarily shut down. Trend Micro, a Japanese network security manufacturer, revealed that hive ransomware first appeared in June 2021. In just one year, it has “become one of the most active and aggressive ransomware families at present”. According to FBI investigation, the software is often used to steal data and encrypt victim files, and then leave blackmail information. Hive gangs have targeted U.S. health care operators and also launched attacks on Indonesian state-owned oil and gas companies. On July 18, the government of Albania, a country in Southeast Europe, disclosed that the country suffered a large-scale cyber attack over the weekend. A large-scale criminal operation from abroad attacked the server of the State Bureau of information society (akshi), which is responsible for processing a large number of government services. In a statement, the Albanian national information society Bureau said, “in order to resist these unprecedented dangerous attacks, we were forced to shut down the government system until the other party’s attacks were lifted.” Albanian government services were shut down on Monday after the cyber attack. The press release issued by the Albanian Council of Ministers mentioned that “Albania is suffering from unprecedented large-scale cyber attacks. This malicious cyber attack is carried out synchronously and comes from abroad. In order to avoid the destruction of the information system, the State Bureau of information society temporarily shut down online services and other government websites.” Most public services were interrupted, and only some important services (such as online tax declaration) were still running, because the servers running them were not covered by attacks. The international team of Microsoft Jones group is helping the social Bureau mitigate the impact of the attack and strive to resume system operation. Last December, Albanian Prime Minister EDI Rama apologized for the massive leakage of personal records in the national government database. The records leaked at that time included the personal identity card numbers, employment information and wage data of about 637000 people. In April, 2021, before the Albanian parliamentary election, a similar incident led to the leakage of identity card records in the national database.

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