City Power hit by ransomware virus

City Power said Thursday (25 July) that it has been hit by a Ransomware virus, meaning that customers may not be able to buy electricity units, or visit the group’s website.

The Johannesburg power supplier said that the virus has encrypted its entire databases, applications and network.

“Currently our ICT department is cleaning and rebuilding all impacted application,” it said on social media.

Ransom malware, or ransomware, is a type of malware that prevents users from accessing their system or personal files and demands ransom payment in order to regain access.

Overnight, the group reported that it was having technical difficulties, noting that its server was down.

To compound matters, City Power said on Wednesday that its network is under strain due to cold temperatures, leading to increased electricity usage.

“City Power electricity network is currently experiencing capacity constraints due to wintry weather conditions and cold temperatures that have gripped Johannesburg. Under these conditions, the electrical system is prone to unplanned outages resulting from overloading and increase in consumption demand,” it said in a statement.

The power utility said that it has increased the number of technicians to deal with the outages.

“Among other efforts, we are equipping our technicians with fast-moving spares and strategic materials. We have also increased the number of technicians in areas that are prone to repeated unplanned power outages,” the statement stated.

Read: Electricity price shock for Joburg residents

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City Power hit by ransomware virus