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Concerns over cyber crimes in SA

The City of Johannesburg’s networks were already breached twice this year. And the public has been warned that corporates were not the only victims of such attacks.

Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - There are renewed concerns about the increase in cyber crimes in South Africa.

The City of Johannesburg’s networks were already breached twice this year. And the public has been warned that corporates were not the only victims of such attacks.

Three months ago, the City of Joburg’s power website was hit by a virus, which encrypted its database. And last month, hackers gained unauthorised access to information systems.

Privacy law specialist Rohan Isaacs said the rapid change in the capturing of data over the past two decades left South Africans vulnerable.

“We all understand traditional crimes like assault and robbery, and we have good ideas on how to protect ourselves but most individuals are not IT security professionals and they can’t protect themselves or write codes to protect their machines from attacks by criminals,” he said.

Isaacs said many people and corporations did not know they were vulnerable.

He said while countries across Africa had implemented privacy legislation, only sections of South Africa’s own Protection of Personal Information Act were enforced.