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WCape provincial legislature suffers cyber attack

Staff Writer
By Staff Writer, ITWeb
Johannesburg, 23 May 2023

The Western Cape Provincial Parliament (WCPP) on Tuesday said it experienced a cyber security attack overnight, rendering its ICT services inaccessible.

However, the provincial legislature did not divulge the nature and extent of the cyber attack, only stating that “no WCPP business will be affected”.

The WCPP is one of the nine provincial legislatures in SA, with a mandate to pass legislation, provide a forum for public debate, involve the public in the law-making process, and oversee the activities of the provincial executive.

In a brief statement, the WCPP notes cyber security is the single biggest threat in the world currently.

Resultantly, it says it has “invested heavily in cyber security measures, business continuity and disaster recovery plans”.

According to the WCPP, these plans have been activated and the matter reported to the South African Police Service and State Security Agency.

“To this end, the institution is currently in the process of recovering its systems from backups to a secure environment. As per the plans, this will be done systematically, and services will be restored in a phased approach.”

South Africa has witnessed a spike in cyber attacks in the latter years, including attacks on credit bureaus, healthcare and retail groups, several government departments, as well as highly-organised DDOS attacks on South African banks.

Last month, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) said the South African economy loses an estimated at R2.2 billion per annum, as a result of cyber crime.

CSIR researchers revealed the country is the eighth most targeted in the world for ransomware, with more than half of local firms impacted by ransomware in the past year.