South Africa’s Justice Department suffers significant ransomware hack

The global spread of ransomware attacks has continued after South Africa’s Justice Department saw its network encrypted.

According to Bleeping Computer, due to the encryption of the systems it made all electronic services unavailable both internally and to the public. The incident occurred on September 6.

A significant consequence of the attack was that child maintenance payments have been put on hold until systems have come back online. The Justice Department mentioned that it is still in the process of returning to regular operations but cannot confirm when the activity will become normal again.

The Department has also established a new email system to which it claims some of the staff there have already migrated to. It is still currently unclear who was behind the attack.

Department of Justice and Constitutional Development spokesperson Steve Mahlangu said, “[The attack] has led to all information systems being encrypted and unavailable to both internal employees as well as members of the public. As a result, all electronic services provided by the department are affected, including the issuing of letters of authority, bail services, e-mail and the departmental website” –

“While the department is not able to determine the exact date when the required systems will be restored, it will ensure all child maintenance money is kept secure for payment to the rightful beneficiaries when the systems are back online”

Mahlangu added that up to now, none of the Department’s IT experts have found any indication of data compromise.

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