Information Regulator wants answers from Liberty over data breach

The company announced at the weekend that hackers stole emails and related attachments and were asking for money to prevent the data being made public.

A screengrab shows Liberty CEO David Munro who addressed the media on 17 June 2018, after Liberty Group's system was hacked. Picture: SABC Digital News/youtube.com

PRETORIA - South Africa’s Information Regulator has asked insurer Liberty to explain how its data breach occurred.

The regulator has also asked for information on the extent of the breach. The company announced at the weekend that hackers stole emails and related attachments. It's understood hackers have asked for money to prevent the data being made public.

Last month, the records of more than 900,000 users who use an online facility to pay traffic fines were made public. In October last year, a master deeds database containing 330 million entries was leaked on the internet.

LISTEN: Liberty working 'one step at time' to deal with hacking incident

The Information Regulator has called an urgent meeting with Liberty chief executive David Munro. The regulator says that South Africa has experienced a disturbingly high number of data breaches in the past few months.

Tech Central editor Duncan McLeod says that the people responsible for stealing the data have uploaded some of it to a website and are threatening to reveal more, unless they are paid.

“The statement that they issued through this website makes use of very poor English, which would suggest to me that the criminals might not be South African but may be from another country, such as Russia for example.”

Liberty has assembled a team of security experts to investigate the intrusion.

WATCH: Liberty Group responds to cyber attack

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)