Central Bank of Lesotho restores interbank transfers 8 days after a cyberattack

December 19, 2023
2 min read
Central Bank of Lesotho
  • Eight days after a cyberattack that disrupted the nation's payment system, the Central Bank of Lesotho (CBL) has restored interbank transfers.
  • The apex bank said that banks can now process transactions with other banks. However, it advised customers to anticipate delays as the processing of payments is done manually. 
  • In the joint statement by the Bankers Association of Lesotho (BAL) and the CBL, the industry is working to make the payment process more efficient soon. 

On December 11, 2023, the Central Bank of Lesotho disclosed that a cybersecurity incident had affected its system. 

Despite assuring no financial or other losses, the bank temporarily suspended some of its systems to prevent further infiltration.

In a subsequent statement on December 13, 2023, the apex bank and the BAL reported that the technical teams were working to resolve the issue. 

Meanwhile, without specifying the alternatives, the statement reads that members of the two institutions have “agreed to institute business continuity processes and measures as alternative ways to facilitate payments and transactions between all the banks.”


This development has raised concerns regarding the stability of the country's financial system and the potential impact on the exchange rate. Since the country's currency is pegged to the South African Rand (R), any instability could affect cross-border trade and financial transactions between the two nations.

Lesotho passed new legislation in May 2022 to address cybercrimes, granting the government authority to oversee online activities, specify cyber offences, and establish penalties such as fines and lengthy prison terms.

The country, which has slightly over 2 million people, had 1.11 million Internet users as of the beginning of 2023. However, it lags in addressing cybersecurity issues, leaving it vulnerable to various cybercrime.

The country's digital economy is said to have growth potential, but the poor digital system makes it hard to make the most of the digital projects.

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