THE National University of Science and Technology (Nust) and the Harare Institute of Technology (HIT) allegedly suffered cyber attacks yesterday with the hackers demanding more than $6 billion to restore information to their websites. HIT public relations officer Mr Tinashe Mutema confirmed the attack on the institution’s website.
Nust director of Information and publicity Mr Felix Moyo maintained there had been no attack but students and lecturers insisted they could not access the website yesterday.
Mr Mutema said the hackers demanded a ransom of 1 000 Bitcoins, a virtual currency from anyone who attempted to log onto the website.
The institution has 2 000 students and more than 400 members of staff. One Bitcoin is worth $2 667 online. The hackers may have been targeting to get about $6,4 billion.
“I can confirm that we were attacked yesterday at around 4:30AM. Social media is however blowing the whole matter out of proportion. The attackers hacked into our website. They had temporary control of the servers hosting our website and emails. We pulled our systems from the internet until we managed to sort out the matter today (yesterday),” said Mr Mutema.
He said the institution had since engaged the police who are carrying out investigations.
MOBILE telecoms services provider Telecel Zimbabwe has launched an SMS-based promotion that gives its subscribers the chance to win up to a total of $5 million in prizes over a three month period.
The promotion — Lucky Number — works by using the last seven digits of a subscriber’s mobile number as a virtual lottery entry ticket.
The lottery centred SMS promotion is based on random selection and over a three month period subscribers who have opted in stand a chance to win provided the last seven digits of their mobile number match the numbers randomly drawn for the day by the gaming system.
The numbers matched should be in the exact sequence as the one generated by the system.
Telecel participants matching the last six digits from right to left of their mobile number win $5 000 while those matching the last five numbers get $500. Participants matching the last four digits down to two digits get airtime valued at $10, $5 and $1 respectively.
The promotion will run for an initial period of three months. Telecel said in the event that there is no match for the seven digit number which guarantees $50 000 prize money, participants who match six, five, four, three or even two numbers still stand a chance to win consolation prizes.
ECONET Wireless has expanded its ‘Ruzivo Smart Learning’ to secondary schools by allowing Ordinary Level pupils to access lessons via mobile phones for free.
The latest development will see Forms 3 and 4 pupils being able to access quality, convenient and affordable education via their mobile phones, tablets, laptops or any internet connected devices.
The Ruzivo service will offer six subjects —Mathematics, Geography, Integrated Science, English, Shona and Ndebele, said Econet.
The facility is a revolutionary online interactive digital learning platform with locally developed academic content including interactive lessons, exercises and tests. Access to the Ruzivo content is free, with no subscription fees or internet charges to access the learning materials using an Econet line.
Zimbabwe's small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) have been urged to enhance online presence as a growth strategy.
This comes as research has shown that an online presence is important for outbound marketing because it reinforces your brand and what companies offer to their target market.
Social media strategist Marshall Malaba told delegates attending a Building Customers for Life seminar in Bulawayo last week that most small businesses operating in the country do not have websites.
Malaba noted that an online presence can maximise resources of a business, increasing sales and the marketing with very little expense.
Another marketing guru James Chapfiwa added that online platforms (Websites) are a reference point for new customers on verifying the legit business from the fly by night and build on customer confidence.
Customer Care Association of Zimbabwe (CCAZ) southern region spokesperson Benson Mukandiwa agreed with Chapfiwa and said it was a well-known fact that in the 21st Century online presence boosts brand awareness.
GOVERNMENT has approved a $250 million project by the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) to set up more than 600 towers and base stations in areas that lack mobile connectivity to improve communication across the country, a Cabinet Minister said yesterday.
Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services Minister, Supa Mandiwanzira, said during a tour of TelOne projects in Umzingwane and Gwanda Districts sound communication infrastructure should cover the whole country including rural areas.
INFORMATION Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services Minister, Supa Mandiwanzira, yesterday commended TelOne for the successful implementation of the $98 million national broadband network modernisation project, which is already transforming the parastatal’s operations.
Using funding which was sourced from China through Government facilitation, TelOne in March this year successfully established a $4 million state of the art data centre and rolled out a 330km fibre optic project linking Bulawayo and Beitbridge among other projects.
The investments have transformed the face of TelOne, which of late has recorded increased business with data services now contributing an average of 40 percent of the revenue for the company that used to rely on fixed telephone operations.
STEWARD Bank has restructured its ICT department after weeks of failing to service its clients, who have been complaining about poor service in the last three weeks.
Statement yesterday, Steward Bank said it had appointed Arthur Matsaudza as the acting chief technology officer, Gedion Moyo (head digital transformation), Luckson Madziwa (digital products development manager) and James Ritala (information systems operations manager).
The move is part of reorganising their ICT department, as the bank indicated it is preparing to cater for higher transaction volumes.
He said they had resolved all delays, but that the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe’s RTGS system going down last Wednesday and Thursday exacerbated their problems.
For weeks, clients have complained to the bank, saying they were unable to process their payments, with delays ranging anywhere from seven to 14 days in some cases, a process that should take 24 hours at most.
Government is in discussions with financiers to raise $200 million to give Telecel Zimbabwe the financial muscle to compete in the sector.
This came after government recently injected $5 million into the country’s third largest mobile operator, following the finalisation of an acquisition of 60% stake in the telecoms firm in January.
Information and Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services minister Supa Mandiwanzira told guests at Telecel’s cocktail briefing on Wednesday that the company’s future was secured.
“Shareholders and the Telecel team are working diligently to secure additional funding in order to recapitalise the organisation and ensure that Telecel competes effectively in the telecommunication industry. At this stage, negotiations and discussions are ongoing with financiers for an investment of over $200 million to kick-start the Telecel project,” Mandiwanzira said, adding that more details would be released in due course
Mobile phone operator NetOne yesterday recruited more than 400 people as part of its ambitious project to create 20 000 jobs countrywide.
The employees mainly youths, were dispatched to Highfield where they were selling NetOne lines, registering customers and replacing lines, among other duties.
In an interview, NetOne acting chief executive officer Mr Brian Mutandiro, said he was happy that the first batch had started work.
“We are happy the first batch has started work and I am impressed by the aggressiveness of these brand ambassadors. The future is orange and we will paint the whole country orange.
“Young men and women you see here will be educating people on the affordable and efficient products we have. It is high time Zimbabweans are aware of their right to be able to access affordable communicational solutions,” he said.
One of the brand ambassadors Miss Rudo Chifamba, said she was very happy to be employed as many people of her age were still unemployed.
Telecel Zimbabwe has commercially launched Wifi zones expanding its previously limited service. In a statement released yesterday, Telecel said the Wi-Fi zone service allows Telecel subscribers to connect to the internet via Wi-Fi hotspots using their mobile phones or any other Wifi compatible device.
The Telecel Wifi service was previously launched for a smaller group during the first quarter of 2017.
Telecel Zimbabwe communication and branding director, Obert Mandimika, said The mobile operator was satisfied with the performance and uptake of Telecel Wifi zones from the soft-launch period.
In terms of affordability, the new packages sees the country’s third largest operator offering 1GB for $1, 250MB ($2), 700MB ($5), 1,5GB ($10), 4,5GB ($25), and 10,24GB ($50).
For the $1 package that is for a one day period, $2 package (7 days), $5 package (15 days), while the $10 and $25 packages are for 30 days.
Econet Wireless Zimbabwe has launched a new product, Wifi in Kombis, which is set to revolutionise urban public transport and bring real convenience to hundreds of thousands for commuters that use kombis.
Kombis are one of the leading modes of public transport for most Zimbabweans commuting from one point to another.
Speaking at the launch ceremony held yesterday at the company’s head office in Msasa, Harare, Econet chief operating officer Fayaz King said he was excited to unveil the new product, which would complement the company’s popular Data Double Up offering.
“I am excited and happy for our customers, most of whom use public transport on a daily basis. Now they don’t have to wait until they get off the kombi to check their mails, browse their favourite sites or to stream video content,” King said.
He added that what was even more exciting was the fact that customers could now use the 100% free Wifi data they get for any data bundle purchase on the kombis anytime and anywhere, on the go.
“For every purchase of a data bundle, customers get extra 100% free Wifi data that they can use when riding in a kombi,” King said.
STATE-OWNED mobile telecommunications firm, NetOne is set to unleash 20 new products by the end of this week.
NetOne acting chief executive officer Mr Brian Mutandiro told Business Chronicle during the company’s ZITF cocktail reception that the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) had already approved the products.
“We are happy to announce that we have a variety of new exciting products for our customers. Potraz has already approved them and by the end of the week we would have started giving them out to the people.
“Unfortunately, I can’t pre-empt what they are about because of competition,” said Mr Mutandiro.
He said the firm was working on recruiting 20 000 brand ambassadors across the country to disseminate information on the new products.