During a digital forum held by the South African Local Government Association (Salga) in Sandton, cybersecurity expert Muyowa Mutemwa from the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) warned that municipal employees are vulnerable targets for hackers.
The forum aimed to address the recent cybersecurity breaches in local municipalities and government departments, as well as at state-owned company Transnet.
In a 2019 incident, hackers reportedly demanded a ransom in Bitcoin from the City of Joburg. Mutemwa explained that hackers often mine data on social media platforms such as LinkedIn to gain access to digital infrastructure.
He emphasized the importance of tightening digital infrastructure to prevent an impact on service delivery while acknowledging the challenges of tracking hackers. The City of Cape Town experienced a phishing attempt last year, but no data was stolen.