On 25 October, the City of Johannesburg tweeted that it had been the victim of a network breach, where it was forced to shut down various systems including its website, e-services, and billing systems.
Business Day reported that a ransom note, sent by Shadow Kill Hackers, demanded 4 bitcoin (about R435,000) before 28 October, or else it would upload the sensitive data online.
Nearly two weeks later, the City of Johannesburg’s website is offline and its call centre is unreachable, leaving residents unable to register for e-services or receive their bills.
The city has responded to complaints on Twitter, confirming that its systems are “temporarily down” – but there has been no further information about the cause of the outage or how long it will last.
According to MyBroadband, attempts to call City of Johannesburg hotlines reportedly “resulted in callers being told that the number does not exist, while attempts to access the City of Johannesburg’s website are unsuccessful.”
It is unclear whether the website’s current downtime is linked to the Shadow Kill Hackers’ cyber-attack.