City of Joburg opens criminal case against “hacker”

The City of Joburg has opened a criminal case at the Hillbrow police station after a forensic investigation with its IT partner apparently showed that its online system was hacked.

It laid the charge at the Hillbrow police station in Johannesburg, said spokesman Gabu Tugwana. The police could not confirm whether a case had been opened.

“Criminal acts of this nature will not go unpunished and the city intends to send out a strong message that a deliberate and malicious breach of this nature will not be tolerated,” said Tugwana.

He declined to reveal the hacker’s identity, but said they were not a member of the city’s staff.

“We would like to reassure all residents that the necessary legal and technical steps are being taken to prevent similar incidents in future.

“Our residents’ confidential information is safe and secure,” Tugwana said.

City of Joburg security issue

Last week the City of Joburg said that it “experienced an unfortunate breach of its IT system, which has been widely reported in the media”.

“The City would like to assure its residents that this is an isolated incident; the necessary legal and technical steps are being taken to prevent similar incidents in future,” the statement said.

The city said that “at no stage has any of our residents’ personal information been compromised (banking details or ID numbers)”.

“The information that was accessed was not from the transactional engine of the billing system of the City of Joburg and the perpetrators were not able to transact on any of the information they have accessed,” the City of Joburg said.

“Any such breach in future, aimed at stealing personal or municipal information, will also be regarded as a criminal matter,” the City of Joburg said.

“We are committed to keeping our residents informed about progress on the matter and the actions that have been taken as part of our investigation to ensure we deal with this matter effectively. Criminal acts of this nature will not go unpunished.”

Reporting with Sapa

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City of Joburg opens criminal case against “hacker”