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CoJ says it will not concede to hackers' demands

The City of Joburg disclosed that the attackers hacked the system on Friday and had threatened to leak customers' data if their demand of four bitcoins was not met.

A screenshot of the City of Joburg website. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The City of Joburg said that it would not be conceding to the demands of the hackers who had accessed the city’s information systems.

It disclosed that the attackers hacked the system on Friday and had threatened to leak customers' data if their demand of four bitcoins was not met.

Customers have been unable to pay their bills and access the city's services online as well as via its call centre.

MMC for Finance, Information, Communication and Technology Funzela Ngobeni confirmed that the hackers had demanded four bitcoins, which currently have an estimated value of almost R500,000.

The city has been given until the close of business on Monday to make the payment.

But Ngobeni said that they would not concede.

"We've managed to bring up some of our critical customer-facing systems. From a technical perspective, it's our billing system, our property valuation system, land information system, our e-health and library services."

He said that in the meantime, customers could use alternative methods to pay for their services.

"Your EFt, your EasyPay those are the ones we have with Pick n Pay, Checkers or the Post Office."

Ngobeni said that 20% of the city’s information systems had still not been restored - this included call center services.