Johannesburg authorities decided not to pay a 4 bitcoin ransom, and they have stood by their decision. This is after hackers attacked the authorities’ municipal systems.
— City of Joburg (@CityofJoburgZA) October 28, 2019
Johannesburg city council posted a statement on October 26th a tweet confirmed the attack occurred on the 24th of October and demanded the payment by the 28th of October. The council said that the attack had affected some services throughout the city. Some of these services included some billing, library services, property valuation, and land information services and the ehealth services too were affected.
This attack was accompanied by a ransom demanding 4 bitcoin, which would be equal to $38,000. This amount was supposed to be paid on the 28th of October, but the authorities refused to pay the ransom.
The council declares the breach as an attack on the Johannesburg residents.
The MMC for finance, who is also responsible for communications technology and group information, councilor Funzela Ngobeni has confirmed that the Johannesburg authorities will not heed the demands of the breach.
She also insisted that the city will restore all of its systems to full functionality. She also added that the city has already brought some services back to its vital customer serving systems.
While the city’s call system remains down, there is an aim of restoring the water services, online customer services, and civic affairs.
Ngobeni had this to say “The City has always taken a position against the lawlessness of any nature and form,” she also added.
“This cyber-attack is being seen not only as an attack on the City’s system — but as an attack on the people of our City.”
An October 29th CNN report the hackers had already reached out to employees demanding bitcoin payments. But officials put a stop to that by shutting down all systems.
A Europol report earlier this month indicated that crypto attacks have become so rampant on authorities.