South Africa regulator's website up after "attempted" database hack

March 8, 2024
5 min read
Penetration tester

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Victoria from Techpoint here,

Here's what I've got for you today:

  • CIPC's website goes live after hackers hacked its database
  • TowerCo of Africa Uganda gets $40m
  • CBN warns MFBs, PMBs, and DFIs

 SA regulator's website up after database hack 

Penetration tester

Last week, the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC), which handles business registrations and rights protection in South Africa, revealed it had a close call with a security breach.

Per the regulator, the attempted hack might have put the personal info of clients and employees at risk.

Consequently, the CIPC performed extensive technical maintenance after temporarily shutting down their IT systems for urgent fixes.

Good news? The maintenance is now complete! It had its website up and running by 8 a.m. SAST yesterday after it had been down since 2 p.m. on Wednesday, affecting the call centre, website, and self-help service centre.

In a statement, the CIPC stated that it is not the only entity dealing with this cyber challenge in South Africa and will take it seriously.

It’s working with the police and other agencies, including the State Security Agency and the Information Regulator, to deal with the criminals behind the attack.

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In addition, it says it complies with all privacy regulations, including informing authorities and impacted parties.

The CIPC emphasised that breaching any organisation's security is a criminal act, and those responsible should be treated as such.

Speaking of those responsible, the CIPC hackers, although unknown, are playing hardball, demanding a $100,000 Bitcoin ransom. They're like, "Pay up, or we spill the beans on all the info we grabbed."

However, we do not know what data they obtained, but it sounds serious. Consider company registration information, financial statements, and director identification numbers.

 TowerCo of Africa Uganda gets $40m

South Africa's spectrum

TowerCo of Africa Uganda has scored $40 million from the European Investment Bank, the Development Bank of Austria, and the Belgian Investment Company.  

The telecom tower infrastructure company plans to use the funds to boost mobile network coverage in Uganda's rural areas to promote digital empowerment and economic development.

Why does it matter? Right now, just 65% of Uganda has mobile network coverage, highlighting the urgent need to fill in the gaps. This investment fits perfectly with Uganda's aim to hit 95% coverage, marking an essential step towards closing the digital divide.

This 10-year cash infusion will sprout 506 new telecom towers strategically placed in network-deprived rural spots.

The cool part? Most will run on renewable energy, tapping into solar power and opening up access to 4G and 5G services, mobile money, and financial inclusion for folks in the boonies.

Interestingly, multiple mobile operators will share these towers, resolving a long-standing issue of expanding telecom in rural areas. Additionally, with solar energy, you can say goodbye to fuel and generator theft.

Over the next decade, these towers will rise, creating approximately 2,000 jobs.


CBN warns MFBs, PMBs, and DFIs 

CBN building. Image credit:
CBN building. Image credit:

The Central Bank of Nigeria is warning microfinance banks (MFBs), primary mortgage banks (PMBs), and development financial institutions (DFIs) to send in their financial reports every month using the FinA app.

Although it doesn’t disclose the penalty, the apex bank warns that failure to comply may result in consequences.

This information comes from letters sent to these institutions signed by Valentine Ururuka, PhD, the Director of the Financial Policy and Regulatory department.

The CBN expresses dissatisfaction with these institutions’ delays or failure to submit financial reports via FinA.

It also reminds PMBs and MFBs of Section 24 of the Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act (BOFIA), 2020, and other rules requiring them to submit these reports on time.

So here's the deal: MFBs, PMBs, and DFIs must submit their FinA reports each month by the fifth day after the month ends. If the fifth day falls on a weekend or holiday, complete it on the last workday before it.

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Have a fun weekend!

Victoria Fakiya for Techpoint Africa.

She's autistic and interested in mental health and how technology can help Africans with mental disorders. Find her on Twitter @latoria_ria.
She's autistic and interested in mental health and how technology can help Africans with mental disorders. Find her on Twitter @latoria_ria.
She's autistic and interested in mental health and how technology can help Africans with mental disorders. Find her on Twitter @latoria_ria.

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