The City of Johannesburg is refusing to pay a ransom fee of 4 Bitcoin (BTC) to a group of hackers called the “Shadow Kill Hackers” who successfully attacked municipal systems last week.
City officials have posted a tweet on its official Twitter handle on October 28, which affirmed the security incident had affected services such as billing, library services, land information system, eHealth services, and property valuation systems.
The security breach, which took place on October 24, was followed by a ransom fee demand of 4 Bitcoin that approximates to $36,509.76 to press time and due by October 28 at 5 PM.
Councillor Funzela Ngobeni — MMC for Finance responsible for Group Information and Communications Technology — has confirmed that government officials will not adhere to the demands of the Shadow Kill Hackers.
Ngobeni has stated that the city is assured that it may “restore systems to full functionality” and that the city has managed to bring up a number of its critical customer-facing systems.
Additional areas the city is attempting to restore include its e-Services. Significantly, the city’s customer service centres remain offline.
“This attack has reinforced our vigilance and our Group Forensic Department, along with relevant forensic tools to get to the bottom of this matter,” added Ngobeni. “We have also brought in our ICT International cyber forensic partners who are using state of the art forensic tools to get to the bottom of this matter.”
As reported by CNN on October 29, after the security breach occurred, the Shadow Kill Hackers had proceeded to email employees directly asking for Bitcoin payments, prompting officials to shut down every system to diminish the risks of another security breach.