JOHANNESBURG, Millions of South Africans have been advised to remain vigilant with their private information in the wake of last week’s data breach which hit the country.
An online leakage of sensitive information belonging to more than half the country’s population has raised questions around the vulnerability of South Africa’s information communication technology (ICT) following a report by an Australian web security expert.
The South African Banking Risk Information Centre (SABRIC) has also advised consumers to be cautions with their personal information.
The leakage has affected about 30 million registered users, whose personal information may be compromised. This has brought about fears that users of institutions such as banks may become victims of identity theft.
Hackers often target cyber space which can generate income for them and South African banks are constantly improving security features in order to protect consumers.
Vanessa, who did not wish to divulge her surname, says her account with one of the leading banks has been hacked by an American syndicate which used her banking details to shop online.
The SMS (short messaging service) worried me because I have never ever used Amazon before, so you see this notification of like it was a couple of hundreds (Rand) going off my account and I immediately thought something was wrong and I needed to phone the bank and they were very helpful as well and very sorry for what had happened and from there the investigation then carried on into how the person hacked my details and whether they were any other accounts they had hacked as well, she says.
Although a few hundred Rand were stolen from her account, Vanessa says she called the bank which then commissioned an investigation.
“They traced the payment to America, to Boston, where someone over there was using my account number and my card number to make purchases on Amazon so what actually happened was they had to cancel my card and block my account and all of that and then they sent me a fraud claim so I had to fill in the fraud claim form and then send it back.”
Banks are often on the lookout against any wrongful attempt to obtain credit information for users, otherwise known as phishing. Some criminal syndicates have figured out systems of penetrating some banking protocols. An anonymous source says she has inside information on how the alleged scammers operate.
They transfer money into your account, maybe let’s say they transfer like 50,000 Rand into your account and then they tell you that you need to have a pin code and a dongle and then you get the pin code and the dongle. They transfer 50,000 Rand into your account they tell you that by 12 o’ clock that account is going to be closed, and then take your card and the dongle. So what they do is they will get an alert that the 50,000 Rand has been transferred into your account they go to the ATM (to withdraw cash).
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK