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Lesotho’s Entire Payment System Reportedly Goes Offline After Cyberattack


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Lesotho's Entire Payment System Reportedly Goes Offline After Cyberattack

The Central Bank of Lesotho recently confirmed that its payment system was attacked by unknown cybercriminals. The bank also acknowledged that the resulting downtime is making it “impossible for all local banks to honor inter-bank transactions in the country.”

No Financial Loss Suffered

The Central Bank of Lesotho (CBL) has stated that the cyber security incident on December 11, which reportedly knocked out the country’s entire payments system, did not result in “any financial or other loss.” However, the bank has “suspended some of its systems to prevent further infiltration from the attackers.”

While the central bank has not shared details about the severity of the attack, one South African media outlet suggested that interbank and international payments routed through the country had gone offline. Another outlet suggested that the incident posed a threat to the stability of Lesotho’s financial system and the local currency’s exchange rate versus the South African rand.

In a statement issued a day after the attack, the Lesotho central bank said it has since initiated an investigation into the incident and is working to restore normalcy.

“Consequently, some payments may be delayed while the Bank works on getting the systems back to normalcy,” the CBL said.

Meanwhile, in another statement issued on Dec. 13, the CBL, together with the Lesotho Bankers Association, confirmed that the downtime is making it “impossible for all local banks to honor inter-bank transactions in the country.”

The two institutions have since agreed to undertake so-called business continuity processes and measures which are expected to help facilitate transactions between banks while work to restore normal service is underway.

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