Treasury is the latest victim in a spate of hacking attacks aimed at government websites. News24 reports that it received an alert from anonymous Twitter user @VirusSec that Treasury would be his latest target. Moments later, the government department's website was inaccessible.

The notorious hacker has in the past targeted various government websites, including those of the Cybersecurity Hub, the Department of Environmental Affairs, the Presidency and the City of Tshwane.

The hacker appears to take issue with government's relationship with China and its handling of animal welfare issues, particularly lions and rhino. In a direct message, @VirusSec said that he specifically targeted Treasury's site in light of the resignation of Nhlanhla Nene as Finance Minister following his testimony before the Zondo Commission.

The attack would not be limited to the website, @VirusSec said.

Currently internal servers of treasury.gov.za are being attacked. Such as e-mail and other servers…’ he said.

@VirusSec has indicated that, although he had visited the country, he was not South African. However, he said, he knew many South Africans, including those who had left the country.

National Treasury can confirm that its e-mails have never gone down, contrary to claims made earlier on,’ Treasury spokesperson Ntsakisi Ramunasi said in an e-mail.

The website was live again when tested by News24 staff yesterday afternoon, the report states.

Full News24 report