Lesotho’s Payment System Grinds to a Halt After Cyberattack

The Central Bank of Lesotho faces a cyberattack, causing a complete shutdown of the country’s payment system. While no financial losses are reported, the incident raises concerns about interbank transactions and stability. The bank initiates an investigation to restore normalcy, impacting local banks and international payments.

The Central Bank of Lesotho has confirmed a cyberattack on its payment system, rendering all local banks unable to process inter-bank transactions. The incident occurred on December 11, prompting the bank to suspend certain systems to prevent further infiltration. Despite assuring no financial losses, reports suggest potential threats to Lesotho’s financial stability and its currency’s exchange rate against the South African rand.

The severity of the attack remains undisclosed, but South African media outlets indicate disruptions in interbank and international payments routed through Lesotho. In response, the central bank has launched an investigation to address the issue and restore normal operations. However, the ongoing downtime is expected to cause delays in payments as the bank works towards recovery.

A joint statement from the Central Bank of Lesotho and the Lesotho Bankers Association confirms the challenge faced by local banks in honoring inter-bank transactions. To mitigate the impact, both institutions are implementing business continuity processes, aiming to facilitate transactions during the system restoration efforts.

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