Johannesburg power agency hit by ransomware attack

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City Power, responsible for powering South Africa’s financial capital Johannesburg, was hit by a ransomware virus that encrypted all its databases, applications and network.

The municipal agency, owned by the City of Johannesburg, said its website was down and customers would struggle to access services, in particular buying electricity and uploading invoices and it could affect its ability to respond to outages.

“The virus attacked City Power database and other software, impacting most of our applications and networks,” City Power said in a tweet.

“We apologise to our customers in the @CityofJoburgZA,” another tweet said.

Johannesburg residents calling a local radio station complained they had been left without power as a result of the ransomware, a virus that blocks access to computer systems or files until a demand is met, usually for money.

City Power was working on restoring the impacted applications.