A few hours after the payment deadline, Johannesburg insisted on never bowing to criminal hackers and refused to pay a data security fee of 4 bitcoins. The city announced that it had suffered a network intrusion at 11:00 pm local time on October 24, and then immediately other services, including the city’s website, electronic services, and billing system went offline. These systems have not been restored to this day.
In a statement issued on October 28th, Johannesburg City Councillor Funzela Ngobeni said:
“The City of Johannesburg can confirm that the recent cyberattack on our ICT systems have had a significant impact on our ability to deliver services to our residents. 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.”
As reported by local officials last week, a gang called “Shadow Kill Hackers” claimed responsibility for the hacking incident and attached a blackmail letter stating that we have full control over your city. We also got all the passwords and sensitive data, such as financial and personal information. Hackers threatened to disclose data stolen from the city’s system if they did not meet their ransom requirements.
Johannesburg is the largest city in South Africa, and its municipal government claims to have known the source of the attack hacker and restored 80% of the system on the evening of the 28th.