Zimbabwe and regional technology news and updates


Metropolitan Bank website hacked

Metropolitan Bank

Metropolitan BankWe’re gathering that the websites belonging to Zimbabwean bank, Metropolitan Bank ( was defaced and subsequently taken down ‘for maintenance’.  According to site defacement archive, the Metropolitan Bank website was defaced on 19 January 2013 by hackers calling themselves “Qifwhysoserious”.

Opening the Metbank website right now shows the web hosting company’s “Under Maintenance” place holder page. The website is hosted by Webdev, one of the largest hosting companies in Zimbabwe. The website was developed by a local company called Hello World, and a source at the company tells us it was based on the Joomla content management system.

We tried getting comment from Metbank but were told the person that could speak on such issues was in meetings.

Like other such website defacement, there’s likely no company information stolen here as banks host their corporate websites and online banking platforms separate. Such website hacking appears to be on the rise locally mainly because of increased web presence by local companies.

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10 thoughts on “Metropolitan Bank website hacked

  1. and again, same web hosting company… funny how classifieds does’nt go down. c’mon guys, sort ur server out.

    1. People really don’t seem to get the point that in these cases it is the fault of the code in the site… not the server hosting the site. If multiple sites were compromised simultaneously on the server then it is much more serious and the hosting providers fault. But if it is a single site, then all evidence points to a flaw in the site.
      Any shared hosting company has to provide read write access for the user to be able to maintain their own site. So there is little they can do to secure it if the code has flaws.
      You pointed out that classifieds isn’t hacked, I would presume that is because it is on its own server with higher security policies not possible on a shared host e.g. blocking everything but http traffic etc.
      Big companies (e.g. Banks) that can afford it should rather buy their own Virtual Private Server at a hosting company and implement more security rather than using shared hosting, but even more importantly they should have a maintenance contract with their developer to keep their site patched and secure.
      Maybe one of the big hosting providers or developers could write an article explaining how their most common hacks occur and who is responsible and what can be done to help.

      1. Maybe one of the big hosting providers or developers could write an
        article explaining how their most common hacks occur and who is
        responsible and what can be done to help.

        Excellent suggestion.
        Having guest posts from an actual ISP will enlighten many who have a vague understanding on how & why the sites are compromised, and what they(developers) can do to prevent them.

        I think most seasoned people know, and in fact the response from @supportwebdev:disqus , pretty much sums up most of the advice that people have been giving on keeping the core CMSs and the extensions/plugins up to date

    1. Just to clarify, this was not a server based hack. This hack was a compromise at the website code level, and was contained within the website. At the moment, alot of websites are being hacked through common exploits found in older joomla and wordpress code. These exploits are usually patched and fixed with updated versions within the version series, however other exploits can exist within older versions of addon components and modules. These components and modules need to be updated along with the CMS code as and when updates are released by their authors. adhering to best practices such as a renamed admin user account, with the strict use of complex characters will help ensure a hack free website.

      1. fun enough most zim websites being hacked are hosted by webdev and ya. i wonder if the rest of local hosting providers do not host joomla or wordpress

        1. I think the responder, who is supposedly from webdev, has given a very sound explanation. It actually does not matter who the web host is when it comes to Joomla or WordPress hosting. As long as it runs a supported PHP and MySQL version, all else would be bells and whistles.

  2. There is no Safety with these popular CMS. I know them and their risk and I have never used them.

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