Lesotho- Government system hacked | MENAFN.COM


(MENAFN – La Poste) MASERU -HACKERS attacked the government’s financial system and stopped payments last week.
The attack sparked panic among senior government officials, including ministers, who feared losing crucial data and money.
Finance Minister Thabo Sofonea told parliament on Monday that the Integrated Financial Management and Information System (IFMIS), the government’s payment system, was paralyzed from Wednesday to Friday last week.

Sofonea said police were investigating. However, it is doubtful whether the police are up to the task, given the complex nature of cybercrime.
IFMIS provides an integrated computerized financial package for efficient and transparent public resource management by automating budget management and the government accounting system.

IFMIS is the cornerstone of government financial transactions. Without it, the government cannot pay wages, buy products and pay suppliers.
Sofonea said he realized the problem last Wednesday when the government’s payments system was in disarray.

“But I was informed on Thursday that everything had stopped and we couldn’t process any payments nationwide,” Sofonea said.
He said the attack started from a machine when an ad was opened.
“Some people in the public service were drawn to the ad and when they opened it, unaware that it was dangerous bait, the whole system was hacked,” he said. .

He said all the machines were forced to come to a complete stop.
He said the police had launched investigations “to find out whether it was done maliciously or not.”
He also said that from now on they will make sure their firewalls are protected and never leave loopholes for hackers.
“The system is now cleaned up to return to normal,” he said.
He said that for now operations have resumed and things will return to normal soon.

“The Tanzanian experts are there to help you and they are already at work.
He said that all Microsoft software files were corrupted and could not open at the time.
The minister said, however, that he did not believe that “sensitive information was lost in the process”.

“We even use it in the district accounting sub-offices,” he said.
“I’m sure we’ll try to improve our security.”
He said they get wise when things like this happen and realize there are some windows for Plan B options.
“This has been a wake-up call for us as hackers try to hack into systems. “
He also said their main fear was losing all of their information, including paid and unpaid government suppliers.

Nkheli Liphoto


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