South African data leak "one of the worst ever"

Remigio Civitarese
Ottobre 19, 2017

The leak of a database containing the personal details of millions of South Africans is much larger than initially thought.

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On Wednesday, a file dated April 2015 which contained the more than 30 million records and 2.2 million e-mails was published on a publicly accessible web server by Australian web security expert, Troy Hunt, and Microsoft regional director.

He recommended that those concerned about being targeted should instead obtain a credit report from a credit bureau, and check if there are any suspicious transactions.

The data dump contained the details of over 30 million South Africans, including ID numbers, phone numbers, estimated incomes, marital statuses and physical addresses.

"This will provide the consumer with added security and will alert the credit provider or the bank that the specific ID number has been compromised".

Van Schalkwyk said the breach presented fraudsters with an opportunity to open accounts and transact as one of the named parties in the leaked profiles.

In one of the biggest data breaches in South African history, more than 30 million South Africans could have had their sensitive data sold on the internet to web hackers.

He said the scope of the investigation would not be discussed however, the Hawks' Cybercrime Unit was leading the investigation.

The Home Affairs Department was only able to confirm that it was looking into the data breach but committed to providing a comprehensive response on Thursday.

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