EXCELLENT: SA: Hackers hit Johannesburg City website – destroy services – DEMAND payment in Bitcoin


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[Excellent stuff! As someone who lives in this stupid city, I did not even notice the systems that were down. Jan]

Most services should resume today – City of Joburg

Some systems already restored after hackers hit the administration, demanding payment in bitcoin.
Melitta Ngalonkulu / 28 October 2019 19:28 One comment so far

Most City of Johannesburg (CoJ) services should be restored by the end of Monday, according to Finance MMC Funzela Ngobeni.

This comes after the administration suffered a major network breach last week.

Speaking at a briefing at the city’s Braamfontein offices on Monday, Ngobeni said the city’s technical experts as well as a team of international security experts have been working around the clock to ensure that normality is restored for residents.

“We have made significant progress,” he said.

“If we continue on this trajectory, we should be able to restore 80% of all our systems [on Monday].”

He said the city has already managed to restore the systems used for billing, property valuation, and land information as well as its eHealth and Libraries services.

He added that Thuso House in Braamfontein (CoJ’s revenue customer services centre) is operational and that efforts are being made to restore e-Services.

“Our goal is to have all category A customer service centres back online within the hour [on Monday] to deal with all billing-related matters and account payments,” said Ngobeni.

These centres are:

  • Waterfall Customer Service Centre
  • Randburg Customer Service Centre
  • Roodepoort Civic Centre
  • Roodepoort City Hall
  • Jabulani Customer Service Centre
  • Sandton Customer Service Centre, and
  • Lenasia Civic Centre

Ngobeni apologised for the inconvenience caused by the hackers and assured residents that the city will not play into the hands of criminals.

He said the cyber attackers demanded four bitcoins (valued at more than R546 000).

“I can confirm that the city will not concede to their demands and we are confident that we will be able to restore systems to full functionality,” said Ngobeni.

Attack on the people of Joburg

“This cyber attack is not just not just an attack on the city’s system, but also an attack on the people of this city,” he added.

Ngobeni acknowledged that the city’s networks have security loopholes.

“We were fully aware that we have loopholes in the City of Johannesburg,” he said. “We did have a plan already – [it] was approved on October 3. Unfortunately, we were hacked before those plans could be implemented.”

CoJ group chief technology officer Cyril Baloyi said the city knows where the hackers come from, but is not at liberty to share the details now.

The city has given assurance that it will be pressing criminal charges.

Source: https://www.moneyweb.co.za/news/south-africa/most-services-should-resume-today-city-of-joburg/

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