Ransomware attack on Power supply leaves Johannesburg citizens in the dark


A ransomware attack which took place on the network of Johannesburg Electricity Supplier ‘City Power’ is said to have left thousands in dark without power. The company which purchases, distributes and sells power to the city’s financial hub admitted that it became a victim of a malware attack which disrupted the network of pre-paid electric power services for residents and local companies operating in the largest city of South Africa.

Details of the attack are yet to be known. But highly placed sources have confirmed that a malware blocked certain critical applications of the power supplying municipal entity leaving many without power.

The official website of the company is unreachable from the morning hours and officials say that the website will be up & working in the next 12 hours.

Data restoration program has already been implemented by the authorities and details of the demanded ransom are being withheld for reasons.

Those suffering from the power outage kept calling the local radio stations to complain about the power disruption and consequences after.

City Power officials have confirmed that reports related to data theft and data access are false as the company’s IT staff have succeeded in containing the malware in the initial spread.

Note– Ransomware is a kind of malware which encrypts files in a database and makes it inaccessible. The victim is then left with two options- either to rebuild the database with backup data or to pay a ransom in return of a decryption key from hackers. Law enforcement agencies such as US FBI and Homeland Security are discouraging victims from bowing down to the demands of hackers as they say that there is no guaranty that the hackers will return a decryption key as soon as they receive the ransom and will not demand more.

Naveen Goud is a writer at Cybersecurity Insiders covering topics such as Mergers & Acquisitions, Startups, Cyber Attacks, Cloud Security and Mobile Security

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