City of Joburg shuts its websites, services following cyber-attack

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The City of Johannesburg has shut down its website and online services, reporting a cyber-attack following a series of ransom notes sent to the city. The ransom, sent by a group calling itself the Shadow Kill Hackers, is demanding 4.0 bitcoin from the City of Joburg.

Several city employees received communication from the group, which said “All your servers and data have been hacked. We have dozens of back doors inside your city. We have control of everything in your city. We also compromised all passwords and sensitive data such as finance and personal population information.” The attackers have demanded 4.0 bitcoin (valued at about R440,000) to be paid by 17:00 on 28 October, failing which they will upload the data they claim to have to the internet.

The city confirmed the breach last night via Twitter, saying “The incident is currently being investigated by City of Joburg cybersecurity experts, who have taken immediate and appropriate action to reinforce security measures to mitigate any potential impacts. As a result several customer-facing systems – including the city’s website, e-services, billing system – have been shut down as a precaution.”

Several South African banks have also reported internet issues, possibly related to the hack. However, this has not been confirmed. City of Johannesburg’s online e-services and call centre logging have been suspended for the present while the breach is investigated.

Source: Business Day

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