South African Electric Utility company City Power has been affected by a virus that has left citizens unable to purchase electricity, which means those who were edging closer to 0 Kilowatts are in trouble.
City Power acknowledged the fault and openly admitted that a number of systems were down in a series of tweets:
City Power has been hit by a Ransomware virus. It has encrypted all our databases, applications and network. Currently our ICT department is cleaning and rebuilding all impacted applications.
Customers may not be able to visit our website and may not be able to buy electricity units until our ICT department has sorted the matter out, Customers and stakeholders will be updated as and when new information becomes available.
Due to software problem that we currently have customers and stakeholders may not be able to upload invoices when making payments.
The virus has attacked City Power database and other software’s, impacting most of our applications and networks.
The virus has affected our customers’ ability to vend, that is buying electricity, upload invoices, or access our website. It may also affect our response to some outages as the system to order and dispatch material is affected.City Power via Twitter
Attacks such as the one above are not entirely surprising if a recent Cyber Security Work Force Study is anything to go by. The study noted that globally there is a huge workforce gap in Cyber Security with close to 3 million people needed. Without particular knowledge of the security setup at City Power it’s difficult to know whether this is a staffing issue but one would assume that with more cybersecurity personnel you can test for vulnerabilities in your IT systems much quicker