Johannesburg City Hall

Enlarge / Johannesburg City Hall (credit: Chris Eason)

Johannesburg, the biggest city in South Africa and the 26th largest city worldwide, has shut down its website, billing and electronic services after being hit by a serious network attack, the second one in three months, municipality officials said.

A group calling itself Shadow Kill Hackers took to Twitter to take credit for the attack, claiming it took Johannesburg's “sensitive finance data offline.” The group is demanding 4 Bitcoins, valued at about $32,000 US, for the safe return of the data.

A Johannesburg spokesman said the city took down the site after it detected a breach and that so far no formal ransom demands had been made. He also played down the extent of the breach.

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