The City of Johannesburg has confirmed that it will not concede to the demands of hackers and is confident that it will be able to restore systems to full functionality.
In a statement, Councillor Funzela Ngobeni confirmed that the cyberattack the ICT systems has had a significant impact on the the City of Johannesburg’s ability to deliver services to its residents.
The attack, which took place last Thursday (October 24) breached the network and resulted in unauthorised access to the City’s systems.
The individuals responsible demanded that the City of Johannesburg paid 4 bitcoins, valued at around R500,000, by 5pm SA time yesterday (Monday).
However, Cllr Ngobeni says that the City will not concede to their demands and is confident that 80% of the systems can be restored.
“We have managed to bring to some of our critical customer facing systems – from a technical perspective – such as our Billing (SAP, ISU and CRM), Property Valuation System, Land Information System, eHealth and Libraries services,” said Cllr Ngobeni.
“We are also working to bring up our e-services, I acknowledge the impact of this on our customers – specifically those who have joined our environmental drive to reduce paper usage by registering to receive their statement by email.
“In the meantime, customers are advised to pay their average consumption.”
Cllr Ngobeni added that, as systems come up, the City will be phasing in active customer services and Thuso House in Stiemens Street, Braamfontein is operational.
However, as of Monday afternoon, he said that the City’s Call Centre remained down and engineers continue to work to resolve those matters.
“The attack is opportunistic in both its form and its timing,” said Cllr Ngobeni.
“It is opportune in that it is timed to coincide with all City month end processes affecting both supplier and customer payments.
“The City has always taken a position against lawlessness of any nature and form. This cyberattack is being seen as not only an attack on the City’s system – but as an attack on the people of our city. We have vowed not to rest until we have got to the bottom of this matter.
“The attack has reinforced our vigilance and our Group Forensics Department, along with relevant state security bodies are investigating the attack. We have also brought in our ICT international cyber forensic partners who are using state-of-the-art forensic tools to get to the bottom of this matter,
“Our primary goal is ensuring the restoration if all our services and I want to thank Joburgers – our residents, our citizens, our partners, and our suppliers for their patience during this challenging time.”