Joburg residents are unable to buy prepaid electricity because CityPower was hacked

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Trusty old CityPower has been hit by a ransomware attack that has rendered its online applications useless. This means that Joburg residents who rely on prepaid electricity are unable to make any purchases at the moment. 

CityPower took to Twitter to inform members of the public that it has been attacked. According to some Twitter users, the problems accessing CityPower’s website started yesterday, and many have been plunged into darkness and unable to buy electricity through any platform. 

A ranso-whatnow?

A ransomware attack is pretty much exactly what it sounds like — a virus encrypts files and/or data and holds it ransom for some kind of payment. Normally the payment is expected in the shape of Bitcoin or some cryptocurrency. We don’t actually know what the hackers want in return for CityPower’s files at this stage. 


Read More: What is ransomware and how to protect your files from it


“City Power has been hit by a Ransomware virus. It has encrypted all our databases, applications and network. Currently our ICT department is cleaning and rebuilding all impacted applications,” the company said in a tweet. 

The attack has only affected prepaid users, who need access to CityPower’s applications to make purchases. Angry Twitter mobs have experienced issues trying to buy pre-paid electricity through banking apps and vouchers through third-parties. 

Although it’s good to know CityPower is working to resolve the problems by rebuilding its applications, this could’ve been avoided by having the proper firewalls and security in place.

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