Personal data of South Africans compromised in Department of Justice breach

Department of Justice Constitutional Development IT malware attack

The Department of Justice and Constitutional Development (DoJ&CD) has warned that malware that attacked its IT system may have exposed the personal data of locals.

It made the notification in accordance with the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA).

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It concerns anyone who had dealt with the department or provided personal information to it.

The warning comes a month after it first experienced the attack which brought many of its operations to a standstill.

At the same time, the department recommended people monitor their financial and bank accounts. It said it would also review its systems and introduce preventative measures against future attacks.

Department of Justice reveals further details about the attack

On 5 September, the department experienced a malware attack on its IT systems.

Upon analysing the breach, it found it had compromised at least 1 200 files containing users’ information.

The files may have contained personal information such as names, contact details, and banking details.

Though it has yet to identify those responsible, the department suspects the attackers may try to sell the information or use it for unlawful purposes.

The attack raised the concern of the Information Regulator of South Africa, whose systems were also compromised and prompted a warning about the number of security breaches in the country.

The department said people should take precautions in light of the attack.

It recommended that people review their financial accounts, pay attention to bank notifications about purchases, and contact authorities if they suspect identity theft has taken place.

It also listed several steps it is taking to secure people’s information and prevent future attacks.

These include enhanced access control and strong password enforcement, third-party firewalls and Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS), and upgraded anti-virus and anti-malware software.

The department added it would keep affected users up-to-date regarding their investigations.

Read more: Fake Windows 11 installers target users with malware

Featured image: Unsplash/Towfiqu barbhuiya

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