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Don't worry: South Africa’s largest data breach

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Staff Writer | October 20, 2017
South Africa computers
Africa   Strategy Worx

Local internet expert in Johannesburg, Steven Ambrose, has urged the public not to panic after the country’s largest data breach.

Ambrose, who is the CEO of technology research firm Strategy Worx, told Fin24 that the breach was a massive wake-up call for citizens in the country, fin24.com reports.

“People need to be vigilant," he told Fin24. "With this kind of information available on the dark web or somewhere else on the internet, citizens could fall victim to spear phishing attacks, which are targeted at an individual or company."

Ambrose explained that spear phishing attacks take place when an attacker has personal information about their victim and uses the initial information to get other crucial information like banking details.

“If someone calls you never give out your bank account number and especially not your pin. No bank will ever ask for your pin.”

“Often attackers lure people into trusting them by asking them personal questions from information similar to what has been leaked during the data breach," said Ambrose. "After, three to four question, people begin to trust them."

South Africa’s largest data breach reached over 60 million unique ID numbers on Thursday, according to Troy Hunt, founder of website, Have I Been Pwned(HIBP), which revealed the data breach.

Fin24 reported this week that the incident may be the biggest breach of Popi (Protection of Personal Information Act) to have ever taken place.


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