It is ridiculously easy for hackers to attack Eskom’s central electricity distribution network, said Jacques van Heerden of Global Technology Security Provider.
Van Heerden told the Rapport newspaper that Eskom’s systems have no “space break” – a physical separation between systems.
If a virus attacks its computers, the same thing could happen to Eskom that happened to the UK’s National Health Service when its systems were infected with the WannaCry ransomware.
Telkom recently said outages on its customer service platforms were a result of an increase in network traffic caused by WannaCry.
Telkom said its systems were not infected, however, and none of its data was encrypted by the worm – raising questions about how its app, call centre, and website were taken offline.
Basie von Solms, director of the University of Johannesburg’s cybersecurity centre, said no one really knows how prepared the government is for cyberattacks.
Von Solms said the government has already been the target of several attacks, with Home Affairs, the police, and Armscor targeted recently.
The Anonymous hacker collective has also threatened the South African government over corruption, said von Solms.