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Malawi Immigration Dept. Halts Passport Services Amid Cyberattack

President of Malawi vows not to pay ransom to "appease criminals."

Dark Reading Staff, Dark Reading

February 23, 2024

1 Min Read
Malawi flag waving on a flagpole
Source: Rawf8 via Alamy Stock Photo

The Malawi government reportedly has suspended issuing passports for the past two weeks due to what appears to be a ransomware attack on the immigration service's computer network.

President Lazarus Chakwera said the hackers are demanding a ransom, but the Malawi government has no intention of paying as it refuses to "appease criminals" or negotiate "with those who attack our country."

So far, no details were released on who is behind the attack or if any data was stolen.

President Chakwera noted that he anticipates the immigration department will find a temporary solution for a three-week deadline it was given to resume issuing passports. The nation plans to enact a long-term solution to protecting the system with additional security measures, he said.

This is not the first time the country has had to suspend issuing passports, but this recent pause comes at a time when demand for passports is high, with many citizens migrating for employment opportunity reasons.

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Dark Reading Staff

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