Johannesburg ignores ransomware attackers’ demands, plans to carry on as normal


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The city of Johannesburg is having (or rather, they were having) a difficult time due to the security breach that the government's database and web site suffered on Thursday night. The fact was not a random attack, but by a group of hackers who requested a sum of money to not make public the data they hacked.

The government does not yield to threats

Hackers known as “Shadow Kill Hackers” attacked the Joburg network, which resulted in the extraction of important data from citizens. The criminals were looking for a kind of “rescue” for the information, since they requested to be paid 4.0 Bitcoins before October 28 to not make public the information they stole.

However, given the threats, the government has remained cool-headed, since, as council member Funzela Ngobeni said, they are working to normalize the situation, which should be almost completely solved by the end of Monday 28.

Through a tweet on Thursday, the city informed its inhabitants that they would close their platform due to the cyber-attack, which negatively affected the offer of services by the government.

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Ngobeni said 80% of web services would be functional by Monday, although she does not know when the call center will be operational again.

Damage repair is not the only thing they are working on. The council member also seized the moment to indicate that they are tracking the hacker group to make them face justice for the serious security crimes they committed.

Not accepting their demands was only the beginning, at this time they are also using the help of the ICT International cyber forensic to find the origin of the attack. “Using their latest generation tools we will get to the bottom of all this” concluded Ngobeni.

This case in the South African city has resonated strongly around the world due to the magnitude of the stolen data.

International security experts have been alert of how the situation is resolved. Mikko Hypponen, one of the most famous security experts, was among the first to indicate that Joburg had not paid the money requested by the hackers.

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Fabrizio Bulleri
Fabrizio Bulleri is a tech reporter with several years of experience covering the Asian tech market. He likes traveling and keeping up with everything digital-related. [email protected]