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Central Bank of Angola Escapes Hack

By Oluchukwu Ikemefuna

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The recent cyberattacks on the central bank of Angola [Banco Nacional de Angola] raise concerns about the increasing threat of cybercrime against financial institutions.

In a world dominated by technology, cybersecurity is vital for safeguarding digital spaces against cyber threats and malicious activities.

The successful defence against this cyberattack is a testament to BNA’s commitment to protecting the Angolan financial system.

This post covers the cyberattack on the Central Bank of Angola, outlining key details and their navigation through this ordeal.

What Led to the Hack ?

The cyberattack on January 6th, 2024, is a strong reminder of the persistent threat posed by cybercriminals targeting financial institutions. 

A prominent bank (BNA) in Angola which manages over $10 billion for 35 million people, also faced a potential loss.

The Central Bank of Angola quickly reassured the nation about the security of its financial system in the aftermath of the cyberattack. 

In an official statement, the bank conveyed that the cybersecurity incident on January 6th had been effectively mitigated, avoiding damage to its infrastructure and data.

The National Bank of Angola pledged to maintain strict measures designed to ensure the security, integrity, reliability, and availability of information systems within financial institutions.

This incident shows the need for vigilance and collaboration to counter the evolving threats posed by cybercriminals in the world of financial security.

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Is this Attempt to Hack Common?  

Recent years have seen several high-profile attacks on central banks and commercial banks across Africa, resulting in data breaches and financial losses.

The governor of the Central Bank of Angola ,José de Lima Massano, in May 2023, said that the apex bank recorded about 350 hack attempts per day.

In December 2022, the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) was alerted by the FBI to a cyberattack, but the bank still denies that it occurred.

The Bank of Zambia had also fallen victim to a hacker collective called Hive which requested for ransom. That same year, the Bank of Gambia also suffered two separate cyberattacks. 

In December 2023, the Central Bank of Lesotho also suffered a hack that crashed inter-bank transactions in the country. 

In 2018, Central bank of Bangladesh lost $81 millions to a single hack that left its regulators and operators speechless till date.

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What Action Was Taken Against This Hack?

Amid rising cyber attacks, 33 African nations, including Nigeria, have implemented cybersecurity legislation,but technology often overrides legislative development.

After the $81 million cyber heist at Bangladesh’s apex bank, concerning lack of legislative action persists. 

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) stresses international collaboration as crucial to counter cyberattacks outlining the need for joint efforts.

In response to the cyberattack on January 6, 2024, the Central Bank of Angola (BNA) took decisive measures to safeguard its operations and reassure the nation about the security of its financial system.

Firstly, the BNA successfully mitigated the cyberattack through its robust cybersecurity measures. These proactive steps played a crucial role in containing the incident and preventing further damage.

The bank implemented stringent access controls to its technological infrastructures. This ensured that access was granted in a controlled manner, prioritising the safety and efficiency of the institutional services provided. Such measures aimed at fortifying the resilience of the bank’s systems against potential future threats.

 The BNA has been actively working to reassure the country that the financial system remains secure by creating Clear communication channels to keep the public informed.

Despite these proactive measures, the impact of the cyberattack was felt as the BNA’s Real-Time Payments System (SPTR) experienced a paralysis lasting over 24 hours. This disruption affected interbank operations across the country.

The Central Bank of Angola’s response to the cyberattack shows the importance of maintaining vigilance and enhancing cybersecurity measures to ensure the stability of the nation’s financial systems.

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FAQS

Was the Central Bank of Angola recently targeted in a hacking attempt?

Yes, the Central Bank of Angola was recently the target of a hacking attempt.

Did the hack succeed?

No, the Central Bank of Angola successfully thwarted the hacking attempt, preventing any unauthorized access to its systems.

What measures did the Central Bank of Angola take to prevent the hack?

The Central Bank of Angola implemented robust cybersecurity measures, including advanced firewalls, encryption protocols, and timely security updates, to protect its systems.

What steps is the Central Bank taking to enhance its cybersecurity after this incident?

The Central Bank of Angola is investing in additional cybersecurity measures, conducting comprehensive security audits, and providing additional training to staff to ensure a more robust defense against future cyber threats.

Conclusion

The successful evasion of a cyberattack on the Central Bank of Angola marks a crucial triumph in the ongoing battle against cyber threats in the financial sector. The incident underscores the importance of robust cybersecurity measures implemented by central banks worldwide to safeguard financial systems and protect sensitive information. As technology continues to advance, the constant vigilance and proactive approach demonstrated by the Central Bank of Angola serve as a beacon for other financial institutions, urging them to prioritize and enhance their cybersecurity frameworks.

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Blessing Ukibe
Blessing Ukibe

Medical Student at Nnamdi Azikiwe University|Tech content expert at Silicon Africa Technology|Lover of fun books and fun fun ☺️

Articles: 90

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