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Malawi Passport System Back Online After Debilitating Cyberattack

Passport printing and distribution will resume first in Lilongwe as the immigration system gets back on its feet.

Dark Reading Staff, Dark Reading

March 14, 2024

1 Min Read
The Malawi flag waving in the wind
Source: Rawf8 via Alamy Stock Photo

Malawi's passport issuance system is back online several weeks after being hit with what appears to be a ransomware attack.

The restoration comes nearly three weeks after the attack on the country's immigration service's computer network.

At the time of the attack, President Lazarus Chakwera noted that the hackers demanded a ransom, which the Malawi government had no intention of paying, indicating that a ransomware attack was the cause of the hacked system.

Since then, President Chakwera has called for an investigation into the attack, which was reportedly at the hands of cyber mercenaries.

"I want law enforcement agencies to immediately establish an investigation into the attack of the e-passport issuance system at the department of immigration and citizenship services," Chakwera said. "Those found guilty of the offense should face the long arm of the law."

The department of immigration released a statement thanking Malawians for their patience and noted that the system was brought back by a team of local experts. Passport printing will resume this week — first in Lilongwe, while the rest of the regions will gradually follow.

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Dark Reading Staff

Dark Reading

Dark Reading is a leading cybersecurity media site.

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