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Malawi: Macra Warns Public to Be On High Alert Against Heightened Cyber Attacks in Comesa Region

Malawi Computer Response Team (mwCERT) of the Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA) announces of recent cyber-attacks that have targeted several countries in the COMESA region, resulting in severe disruptions to critical information infrastructure, across various sectors.

In a statement, MACRA Director General, Daud Suleman says “these online attacks have the potential to affect anyone due to the interconnections between countries and our proximity to the concerned countries”.

“As a proactive intervention, mwCERT urges users of computer systems and cyberspace to maintain vigilance in protecting their own critical information infrastructure.

This is done in the exercise of mwCERT duties to provide proactive cyber-related services, including threat advisory under s.6(3) of the Electronic Transactions & Cybersecurity Act (Chapter 74:02 of the Laws of Malawi.

MwCERT therefore, wishes to advise everyone to take heed and consider deploying the following measures:

1. regularly update software: keep computer systems, antivirus software, and other applications up to date to benefit from the latest security patches and counter known vulnerabilities;

2. create strong and unique passwords: use strong and unique passwords for all online accounts, avoiding easily guessable information;

3. enable two-factor authentication (2FA): utilize the security enhancement provided by two-factor authentication, which adds an extra layer of protection beyond a password;

4. exercise caution online: exercise caution when clicking on links or opening attachments in emails, especially from unknown sources or suspicious emails;

5. employ strong email filtering and be aware of phishing attempts to mitigate the risk of attacks; and

6. regularly back up data: create backups of essential files and store them securely. This practice ensures that data can be recovered in the event of a cyber- attack, system failure or device loss.

“There is a need for coordinated effort on any suspicious event in our critical information infrastructure and for any inquiries, the public is encouraged to contact Malawi CERT at [email protected] or visit or call toll-free number 261 from any Malawian phone network for any assistance and guidance.

Last week, during the 5th Digital Financial Inclusion Public-Private Dialogue organized by COMESA Business Council (CBC) in Lilongwe, Suleman said there is a critical need to develop national data protection laws to align them with international regulatory frameworks, including the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).