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.
#Update City Power has been hit by a Ransomware virus. it has encrypted all our databases, applications and network. Currently our ICT department is cleaning and rebuilding all impacted applications.^GR— @CityPowerJhb (@CityPowerJhb) July 25, 2019
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.
#JoburgUpdates @CityPowerJhb: Customers should not panic as none of their details were compromised. We apologise for the inconvenience caused to the people of the City of Joburg. Please be patient with us, we expect to have everything back in order by the end of Thursday ^GZ— City of Joburg (@CityofJoburgZA) July 25, 2019
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.