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South Africa Ransomware Attack: Justice Department Denies Receiving 50 BTC Ransom Demand

South Africa’s Department of Justice and Constitutional Development (DOJCD) has denied claims that it has received a 50 bitcoin ransom demand from hackers that attacked its systems on September 6, 2021.

Reports of Ransom Demand Deemed ‘Completely Untrue’

Instead, the DOJCD insists that its tech experts, “industry partners and selected organs of state have been working hard to contain the problem and to restore systems affected by the ransomware attack.” Consequently, the department stated in a tweet that an article published by Mybroadband on September 20, is, therefore “completely untrue.” A tweet shared by the country’s Ministry of Justice and Correctional Services explained:

The DOJCD would like to place it on the record that it has not received any ransom demand following the ransomware attack as suggested by an article on http://mybroadband.co.za/news/ published on 20 Sept 2021. This Mybroadband article is false.

The South African tech news site Mybroadband stated that hackers behind the ransomware attack had in fact demanded 50 BTC in return for restoring access to the compromised systems. According to the same report, a tech company was later “brought into the picture to try to regain control over compromised systems

“. After examining the ransomware attack in detail, Mybroadband stated that hackers behind the ransomware attack had demanded 50BTC in return for the DOJCD’s regaining control of all electronic services it provides.

Mybroadband also stated in its report that it had asked for more information from the DOJCD about the nature and extent of the attack on its IT system. The latter promised further feedback.

Justice Department Attacked

Meanwhile, some Twitter users have questioned the DOJCD’s claims that it had not received a ransom demand. Ravi Singh, for example, insists that hackers will not be able to solve this ransomware attack unless it gives in to their demands. The user said:

If you are infected with a ransomware virus, you won’t need to receive a ransom, the virus will automatically show you the bitcoin or altcoin address to pay to, to gain access to your files. Ransomware is a name for a reason. There is no other type or family period.

Another user said this attack has exposed the ineptitude of the person that is overseeing the IT department.

Some of the services of the DOJCD are now being done manually as a result of ransomware. However, the department has noted that “some functionality of the Mojapay system has been recovered and most [child] maintenance payments have been processed.”

Can the DOJCD successfully regain access to its systems without paying a ransom? Let us know what you think below.

Image Credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. This article is not intended to be a solicitation or offer to sell or buy any products or services. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. The author and the company are not responsible for any loss or damage resulting from or in connection to the content, goods, or services in this article.

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BTC slips amid poor debut for Hong Kong spot ETFs

Bitcoin fell to under $62,000 after spiking past $64,700 earlier as Hong Kong spot Bitcoin and Ethereum ETFs began trading. Data showed trading volumes hit just over $11 million, against expectations of over $3oo million. Bitcoin price fell below $62,000 again amid market reaction to less than encouraging numbers from the first day of trading…


  • Bitcoin fell to under $62,000 after spiking past $64,700 earlier as Hong Kong spot Bitcoin and Ethereum ETFs began trading.
  • Data showed trading volumes hit just over $11 million, against expectations of over $3oo million.

Bitcoin price fell below $62,000 again amid market reaction to less than encouraging numbers from the first day of trading for much hyped spot Bitcoin and Ethereum ETFs in Hong Kong.

BTC was down about 1.4% at the time of writing, having touched lows of $61,587 across major crypto exchanges.

The benchmark cryptocurrency, which has struggled to reclaim key levels since its recent halving event, was seeing a 24-hour trading volume of $28.4 billion.

Bitcoin price and Hong Kong spot ETFs debut

Earlier, Bitcoin price surged to above $64,000 as the six spot Bitcoin and spot Ethereum ETFs went live in Hong Kong.

The flagship cryptocurrency rose to over $64,727 on US-based crypto exchange Coinbase. BTC also soared after reports Hong Kong approved the listing of the ETFs.

NEW: 🇭🇰 Opening ceremony of Hong Kong spot #Bitcoin ETFs 👏 pic.twitter.com/ux1eb5PqRn

— Bitcoin Magazine (@BitcoinMagazine) April 30, 2024

However, as data streamed in showing disappointing trading volumes and inflows, Bitcoin price took a hit. According to details of the six ETFs’s debut day, total trading volume reached just $11 million, not impressive given projections were much higher at over $300 million.

Bitcoin ETFs saw about $8.5 million while Ethereum ETFs recorded just $2.5 million on the first day. Ethereum price fell to $3,040.

Notably, the figures from Hong Kong are way lower compared to those recorded amid the enthusiasm that greeted the launch of spot Bitcoin ETFs in the US in January. On their debut, the US spot BTC ETFs raked in over $4.6 billion in trading volume.

The start to trading for the ETFs has not helped BTC price and BTC could face a slide under the $60k level if sentiment flips negative. On the upside, resistance at $65k remains critical and a breakout could see the bellwether digital asset soar towards its recent peak.


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