Information about children as young as three in massive data leak

Date:

BY NICO GOUS
File photo.
File photo.  Image: Gallo Images/ iStock
Details about children as young as three are among the data leak involving the records of millions of South Africans.

Australian web security expert Troy Hunt first tweeted about the leak on Tuesday. He has since re-checked the information and found it contains the records of 66-million South Africans‚ some of them no longer alive.

The records include that on 12.4-million children and just less than 10-million teenagers.

“I was pretty stunned to see that – 19% of the records in there are apparently children. That’s not including teenagers either – and if we add them‚ that figure jumps to 29%‚” Hunt wrote.

“Why on earth would you want little kids in this database? As of today these are three-year-olds and no‚ there’s no names or other personal data on those records but … why?!”

The records also include information on nine million South Africans who have died.

The data includes‚ among other details‚ people’s ID numbers‚ ages‚ marital status‚ occupations‚ estimated incomes‚ addresses and cellphone numbers.

One of South Africa’s top real estate firms said it was the unwitting source of the data hacked in the largest-known personal data breach in South Africa. The websites of Jigsaw Holdings‚ Aida‚ ERA and Realty-1 were offline on Friday.

Aida chief executive Braam de Jager said he had “absolutely no idea” how the information was published on the firm’s server‚ but the matter is being investigated.

He said the information was bought from credit bureau Dracore in 2014 to enable it to trace potential clients who wanted to sell their houses.

Unfortunately South Africans can do little about the leak‚ because the data was uploaded on a server that can be accessed and downloaded if people know where to look.

It is not clear when the information was uploaded and who might have downloaded it.

Professor Basie von Solms‚ director of the Centre for Cyber Security at the University of Johannesburg‚ said earlier this week that South Africans were not out of the woods‚ because Hunt and others could have made back-ups of the information.

TMG Digital

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