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Opinion

'If 24m records have been accessed - that's most of our working population!'

20 August 2020 12:55 PM
Tags:
Crime
Fraud
Sabric
Phishing
Identity theft
South African Banking Risk Information Centre
id theft
Zain Johnson
Experian
Alistair Fairweather
Plain Speak

Experian was tricked into giving a fraudster the personal info of millions of us. Zain Johnson interviews Alistair Fairweather.

Related article: How to never-ever fall prey to ID theft… and info about a free service if you do


An investigation is underway after credit bureau Experian gave a suspected fraudster access to personal information of 24 million South Africans and 793 749 businesses, according to the South African Banking Risk Information Centre (Sabric).

You may want to check your bank record and credit status.

If you suspect you’re one of the 24 million, you may apply for free identity protection.

South African Identity Document. Picture: Tshepo Lesole/EWN

The credit bureau disputes Sabric’s figures.

Experian is the world’s largest credit data company.

It reported the data breach to law enforcement.

“Our investigations indicate that an individual in South Africa, purporting to represent a legitimate client, fraudulently requested services from Experian,” the company said.

The company claims that the suspect’s “hardware” has been seized and the data deleted.

Zain Johnson (in for Kieno Kammies) interviewed Alistair Fairweather, a technology consultant at Plain Speak.

Johnson approached Experian CEO Ferdie Pieterse for comment, but he declined.

It’s not good. Credit bureaus around the world have historically been quite bad at this…

Alistair Fairweather, a technology consultant at Plain Speak

This wasn’t a hack… someone impersonated an employee of a large customer… then, over several days or weeks, they managed to coax out of them a lot of data…

Alistair Fairweather, a technology consultant at Plain Speak

They have to assume that this person gained access to everything… personal details… ID-numbers, email addresses, phone numbers and, possibly, spouses’ details… and details of transactions… They can tailor a phishing email [to the actual individual] … the attacker knows more about you than just a scammer blasting out to every email address he can find.

Alistair Fairweather, a technology consultant at Plain Speak

If we assume that 24 million records have gone missing – that’s most of our working population!

Alistair Fairweather, a technology consultant at Plain Speak

Listen to the interview in the audio below.


20 August 2020 12:55 PM
Tags:
Crime
Fraud
Sabric
Phishing
Identity theft
South African Banking Risk Information Centre
id theft
Zain Johnson
Experian
Alistair Fairweather
Plain Speak

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