With the City of Joburg disclosing a network breach earlier it appears to be a day primed for cybersecurity awareness.

We say this because the South African Banking Risk Information Centre (Sabric) has issued an alert stating South Africa’s banking industry is and has been facing distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks since Wednesday of this week.

“These attacks started with a ransom note which was delivered via email to both unattended as well as staff email addresses, all of which were publicly available,” Sabric wrote in a media statement.

“Threat intelligence which has surfaced has revealed that this is a multi-jurisdictional attack with entities from several countries being targeted and should therefore not be viewed as a targeted attack on South African companies only,” the organisation added.

DDoS attacks don’t compromise data in most instances but they do – as the name suggests – prevent access by flooding a server with false requests. The end result of this is a website that may load incredibly slowly or not at all in some instances.

Sabric has said that the local banking industry has “robust defensive strategies” in place and customer impact will be kept to a minimum.

“Despite our Banks preparedness and resilience, we will continue to monitor this situation very closely and respond as required,” acting chief executive officer for Sabric, Susan Potgieter said in a media statement.

Sabric did not state what the attackers demanded as part of the ransom.

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