Johannesburg Electricity Company Crippled By Cyberattack

Ransomware attack on Johannesburg electricity supplier disrupts power to thousands of South Africans.  

City Power, the independent body responsible for providing electricity to South Africa’s largest city, was hit by the cyberattack on Thursday 25 July.

The ransomware encrypted many of the organisation’s databases, applications and networks, crippling its online offering.

This system crash led to many Johannesburg residents and businesses who buy pre-paid electricity being left without electricity.

The attack also delayed City Power’s response to several localised power outages.

IT staff at the company managed to contain the malware so that it didn’t compromise any customers’ personal details.

Cybersecurity is seen as one of the biggest threats to modern power grids. As systems become more interconnected, this increases the potential entry points for malicious actors.

South Africa’s electricity network has come under increased pressure over the past decade as ageing infrastructure and poor maintenance catch up with state-owned network operator Eskom.

Combined with increased demand for power from consumers, load shedding and rota disconnections have become commonplace.

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