The South African municipal district of ORTambo was the target of a cyberattack by a hacker collective known as the Five Families.
They claim that they have taken over sensitive data from the district’s primary domain, ortambodm.gov.za, endangering the privacy of both public and official government data. The syndicate has demanded a ransom on Telegram in exchange for the data’s safe return.
What “Five Families” are they exactly?
In the field of cybercrime, The Five Families is not a newcomer. This coalition is made up of a malware forum and five hacker groups.
“Establish better unity and connections for everyone in the underground world of the internet” is their stated purpose. The agenda of the Five Families is well-planned, with a representative from each of the member gangs in the leadership structure.
These hacking groups are The Five Families
What are the ramifications?
There are serious ramifications from this attack. Not only are citizens’ private records in jeopardy, but government operations can also be affected. The Five Families have proposed a solution via direct payment of $10,000 in Bitcoin or through negotiations. The question is, does the district know they have been breached?
How did they convey their requests?
The group has given the negotiators two channels of communication.
An email address for general inquiries has been set up, email@example.com, and a session ID has been provided for direct, encrypted conversations. It will soon be interesting to observe how this tale develops.
One of the seven districts of South Africa’s Eastern Cape province is the OR Tambo District Municipality. It’s in the region of the Wild Coast. Mthatha is the seat. The great majority of its 1,364,943 residents speak IsiXhosa as of 2011. Oliver Tambo is the namesake of the region. DC15 is the district code.