The City of Johannesburg said on its Twitter account late Thursday night that cybercriminals were attacking its network, resulting in unauthorized access to its information systems. According to the Johannesburg City Council, its website, e-services, account system and other customer service systems have been turned off for time and time to prevent further damage.
The city council has already used cybersecurity experts to investigate the incident. “We took immediate action to strengthen our security and take measures to limit its potential impact.”
However, Business Day reports that hours passed before the city noticed the attack. According to the report, a group, the Shadow Kill Hackers, is responsible for cybercrime and is demanding a payment of 4.0 Bitcoin, or about R500 000, by 17:00 on 28 October.
If they do not receive the payment, the group will upload all the information they stole on the internet.
The city council further said the investigation would take about 24 hours,
Which means that consumers will not be able to use any e-services during this period or make any inquiries at the city’s call centers or customer service centers.
All emergency calls are currently handled by the provincial call center.
The City Council will keep consumers and residents informed of the state of affairs every four hours.
This is the second similar attack on the city this year. In July, the city’s power supplier City Power was also affected by a cyber attack, in the form of a computer virus.