Botswana is experiencing a national security crisis due to a botnet that was used to compromise government computers and spread malicious software, the country’s security chiefs have warned.

Key points:The cyber attack was a result of a botnets containing malware, the chiefs sayThe threat is being addressed by the National Security Agency and the Defence ForceAs of this writing, no confirmed victims of the malware have been identifiedThe chief cyber security officials from Botswana and Botswana Security Association (BSSA) said they have detected the malware on more than 150 computers, most of them in Botswana but also in the United Arab Emirates, Iran, India, Malaysia, Morocco, the United Kingdom, France, Russia, Sweden, South Africa, and Thailand.

The attacks were first reported on December 19 and affected the government and private sector, with the vast majority of the victims being in the private sector.BSSA chief general Jovani Jokwane said the country had received a large amount of warning notices, which have resulted in an increase in the deployment of cyber security measures.

“The national security situation is in the hands of our security officials, we are ready to take the necessary steps to protect the people and the security of the country,” Jokweze said.

He added that the National Cyber Security Center (NCSC) had been mobilised to deal with the cyber threat.

The cyber threat to Botswana was caused by a botNet that was infected with a malicious software called WannaCry.

This malware has been around since 2015 and was used by criminals to infect millions of computers worldwide.

“We are not only at risk of this threat being used again, but we are also at risk if we do not take the appropriate steps to deal effectively with this threat,” Johaphette said.

The National Security Authority (NSA), the countrys national security agency, has launched an investigation into the incident.

The government is also working with the Defence Forces and the Botswana Cyber Security Centre to ensure the country remains safe.BSSAs chief security officials have warned that the country is facing a cyber security crisis.

“As the threat is currently being dealt with by the national security authorities, we would like to make it clear that we are not at any stage aware of any confirmed victims, nor have any information about them come to our attention,” Jogopi Jokwa, the national police chief, told Al Jazeera.

The country has experienced a number of cyber attacks in recent years, with cyber criminals often using the same techniques and targeting different sectors.

In May this year, a group of hackers broke into the home of Botswana Chief Minister Mkhwazi Khama, killing him in a bomb blast.

In July, a bot used by cyber criminals was used against the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SAS) and its journalists.

The Botswana security chiefs also warned that there was an increasing risk of the use of botnets in the country.BSNAs chief spokesman Pramod Kumar confirmed that the attacks had taken place but said the threat had been dealt with and the cyber attacks were under control.

“There are currently no confirmed reports of the botnet being used in Botswanese cyber security attacks, and we will continue to take steps to mitigate the threat,” Kumar said.

“Our focus is on the protection of the national economy and the national interests of our citizens.”BSSA and the National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA) said Botswana has already begun deploying a number for security, and will be deploying more soon.BSNA said it would be deploying a dedicated cyber security team to protect Botswana from the malware threat.