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City of Joburg website blacklisted due to malware infection

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Earlier today, the City of Joburg’s social media team tweeted that its official website was down and that they were working to get it back up.

Upon further investigation, it seems the site was in fact blacklisted by Google with the eservices portal inaccessible via Google Chrome altogether.

The reason for the site being inaccessible is because the site has been blacklisted by Google. A site gets blacklisted when it repeatedly switches between compliant and non-compliant behaviour.

When asked what had caused the site to go down, a member of the team responded that it was a glitch, but didn’t elaborate on the matter. But after a chat with City of Joburg director of communications Nthatisi Modingoane we were told that the site had been blacklisted because of malware.

“The reason for the blacklist is because malware has been detected by Google,” said Modingoane who also added that the COJ IT team is working around the clock to both rectify the situation and whitelist the site once more.

When asked whether any user data had been compromised the director said, “Not as far as we are aware at the moment. If we identify that any user data has been compromised we will issue a formal statement but the indication at the moment is that no user data has been compromised.”

It’s important to note that the site is only inaccessible when accessing it through Google Chrome. The site is still accessible through Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge albeit without HTTPS encryption.

We suggest paying your rates and taxes the good, old-fashioned, manual way until the problem is rectified.

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz writes news, reviews, and opinion pieces for Hypertext. His interests include SMEs, innovation on the African continent, cybersecurity, blockchain, games, geek culture and YouTube.