GTB 737 banner Yudala banner

Hackers hit 30 million internet users in South Africa’s ‘worst data breach’

By Pumza Fihlani on

Share on facebook Yahoo mail icon Gmail icon

Views: 236

•Hacker at work
•Hacker at work

Authorities in South Africa are investigating a data breach which has seen the personal details of more than 30 million citizens leaked on the internet – placing them at risk of identity theft.

The information contained in a 27GB file was discovered by Australia-based internet security expert Tony Hunt earlier this week.

It contains their names, full identity numbers, income, gender, employment history, contact numbers and even home addresses.

South Africa’s population is about 54 million, so more than half of the country is affected by what has been described as the country’s worst leak of private data.

The country’s State Security Agency (SSA) would not be drawn into discussing the implications of such a breach and whether it could threaten security.

“We are looking in to the matter. There is an investigation. We are obviously very concerned,” SSA spokesperson Brian Dube told the BBC.

“It’s important to us to get to the bottom of this, see how it came about and do whatever we have to do, to deal with it,” he said.

Local newspaper, The Times, is reporting that the breach has even reached senior politicians, including President Jacob Zuma, but this has not been confirmed.

What could go wrong?

There are many unknowns.

According to Mr Hunt, the file dates back to April 2015 but it is not clear how long the information was on the internet prior to his find.

The information could have been accessed by anyone from anywhere in the world if they knew what to look for.

Experts say this is the sort of data that companies would pay good money for.

Mr Hunt said on Twitter this week that the data breach “is one of the worst I've ever seen on many levels”.

The server of a property company called Jigsaw Holdings appears to be the source of the breach, this was traced through an IP address, according to local reports.

While Jigsaw has not been available for comment, it is not believed the cyber breach was a result of malice or negligence.

What happens now?

Some local newspapers have been calling for South Africans to use Mr Hunt’s website haveibeenpwned which works by checking one's email address to see if their account has been compromised.

I took his advice. I’ve been using a private email address for years which I have always believed to be secure – but it turns out I’m in the 30 million.

It is not clear what happens now and perhaps that is the part that is most unnerving – do you wait until you are a target? Will you be a target? Do you warn your credit providers? Or simply do nothing?

So what’s the risk?

The publisher of Stuff Magazine, a technology magazine in South Africa, says in the wrong hands, the information could be used to impersonate people.

“All of this information could be used to open a bank account, a credit card account and they would use it knowing that someone will else have to pay for it when the bill comes,” Radio 702 quotes Toby Shapshak as saying.

He also speculated in the same interview that as many as 60 million people have had their personal data compromised, if you include the details of people who have died.

Time to panic?

South Africa’s banking institutions are said to be among the safest in the world, but they could be caught off-guard if the information was misused.

It is said to be the largest leak of the details of private citizens in the country’s history – and yet it seems to have gone largely undetected.

There is no outcry.

But Mr Shapshak says South Africans “should panic”.

“Yes the data may be five years old but our ID numbers stay the same, our employment history stays the same and these are the sort of things that make it possible to create fake identities. It is a serious problem and I'm not being paranoid.”

Experts say cyber crime is still not taken as seriously as conventional crime, even though it can be used to fund all sorts of illicit activities including terrorism. While the possibility of identity theft could open a whole new door for criminals here.

“It’s too early to say anything at this moment... There are a lot of reports going around, but we are concerned and looking into it,” said Mr Dube.

And so we wait – and hope that the right people are doing all the right things to protect the country’s citizens from those who live on the dark web. (BBC)

Source News Express

Posted 21/10/2017 05:32:28 AM

 

Share on facebook Yahoo mail icon Gmail icon


 

CLASSIFIED ADS

Loss Off Your Belly Fats, Upper Arm Fat and Body Fats In 2weeks Time.. Click HERE To Start Now!

Let us build the most comprehensive online database of worthy and credible Nigerians from all walks of life. It is worth doing!

 

You may also like...
Family of kidnapped monarch begs for his unconditional...

Kachikwu warns Chinese businessmen against fraudulent oil deals...

Government warns against indiscriminate disposal of wastes

Ikeja Lagos motor mechanics and technicians seek government’s...

Airtel offers hope to the underprivileged with ‘Touching...

No going back on the war against street...

Ralph Laurent, Speedo, others cut ties with US...

Nigerian troops capture Boko Haram fighters, recover more...

Court orders temporary forfeiture of N437m, properties linked...

Akpabio donates land to Nigeria Scrabble Association, assures...

Immunise your child now, Obiano’s wife urges Anambra...

Hired killers implicated in death of Ondo medical...

 

Latest News Lagos seals 18 hotels, event centres over tax evasion How security agencies quarantined Anambra to ensure peaceful governorship election •Arrest miscreants, thugs Obiano dazes them all to secure second term as Anambra Governor Imposter nabbed at INEC Sokoto Govt. to sponsor 200 indigenes to study medicine in India SERAP, pensioners drag Buhari before ECOWAS Court over unpaid pensions, salaries Mugabe given until noon Monday to quit as President of Zimbabwe 80 per cent of road accidents caused by human factor — FRSC FG hails global endorsement of Nigeria’s fight against terrorism NGO Commends Kogi Gov Over Staff Audit That Uncovered Numerous Ghosts PDP Chairmanship: Northern leaders embrace Secondus BREAKING NEWS: How Obiano beat 36 challengers to win Anambra governorship election •Full results from all the LGAs

 

Most Read Nigerian female sex addict opens up, says ‘I like it with both men and women’ (294,541 views) NUDE PHOTO OF OMOTOLA JALADE-EKEINDE surfaces online (278,314 views) Shameless Genevieve Nnaji exposes breasts in public (224,903 views) Finally named: The full list of friends of Nigerian female sex addict who prowled Facebook (189,205 views) Igbo scholar disgraces Femi Fani-Kayode •Demolishes claims on Igbo/Yoruba history with facts and figures (181,330 views) OLUMBA OLUMBA OBU (the one who called himself God) IS DEAD (165,922 views) Breaking News: POPULAR REVEREND CONVERTS TO ISLAM in Kaduna (Nigeria) (144,028 views) THE FINAL DISGRACE: Igbo scholar unleashes more facts about Igbo/Yoruba history, finishes off Femi Fani-Kayode with second article (130,475 views) OBJ’s son reported dead in Lagos plane crash •Names of more victims emerge (126,956 views) Lagos plane crash: Journalist releases victims’ names (116,470 views) Gunmen kill ASP, 2 other police officers in vain bid to kidnap Rivers PDP chieftain (113,715 views) My wasted years in Olumba Olumba Obu’s Evil Brotherhood (107,546 views)

 

Categories Advertorials (3) African Press Organisation (81) Art & Literature (30) Business (2,771) Business Verdict (26) Columnists (769) Complaints & Requests (93) Enterprise & Opportunities (186) Entertainment (404) Features (510) Global Business Monitor (190) International (1,646) Interviews (138) Live Commentary (28) Love Matters (82) News (30,358) Opinion (837) Pidgin (9) Politics (4,108) Religion (648) Sports (1,357) Stock Watch (24) AMA & Al Jazeera Global Update

 

UBA mobile app

CBN Words on marble

 

 

Argentina vs Nigeria

 

APO Group Partner

 

CLASSIFIED ADS

Let us build the most comprehensive online database of worthy and credible Nigerians from all walks of life. It is worth doing!

Loss Off Your Belly Fats, Upper Arm Fat and Body Fats In 2weeks Time.. Click HERE To Start Now!

GOCOP Accredited Member

GOCOP Accredited member

 

 

Africa Media Agency and Al Jazeera

Advertisement



 

 

CLASSIFIED ADS

Let us build the most comprehensive online database of worthy and credible Nigerians from all walks of life. It is worth doing!

Loss Off Your Belly Fats, Upper Arm Fat and Body Fats In 2weeks Time.. Click HERE To Start Now!