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'Millions' of South Africans' personal info exposed in credit bureau data breach

Experian SA CEO Ferdie Pieterse maintains numbers not as high as Sabric reported. Bruce Whitfield grills him for an explanation.

Picture: Darwin Laganzon on Pixabay

The data breach has exposed some personal information of as many as 24 million South Africans to a suspected fraudster, according to the South African Banking Risk Information Centre (Sabric).

It reports that 793 749 business entities are affected.

Experian South Africa disputes the reported numbers.

Bruce Whitfield interviews the CEO of the consumer credit information services agency, Ferdie Pieterse.

He strongly denies that the company was hacked.

For the record... Experian in no sense, way or form was hacked. None of our systems were either penetrated or hacked, as you call it. None of our data bases and any of our records.

Ferdie Pieterse, CEO - Experian South Africa

... a perpetrator using social engineering techniques put himself forward as a known customer of Experian and contracted with us in the normal course of business and in that way illegally obtained the records of 23.4 million individuals.

Ferdie Pieterse, CEO - Experian South Africa

Picture: Darwin Laganzon on Pixabay

"Call it what you like" exclaims Bruce Whitfield, "it's a colossal failure isn't it?"

We provided contact information - telephone numbers and addresses - back to this individual.

Ferdie Pieterse, CEO - Experian South Africa

Also, those numbers are incorrect. The perpetrator provided us with 793, 749 records and once we actually went through our processes systems we only returned 607,000 records back to them.

Ferdie Pieterse, CEO - Experian South Africa

Ferdie, you're putting lipstick on a bulldog here I'm afraid. The fact is, someone managed to get access to private information and that should never have happened!

Bruce Whitfield, The Money Show host

Sabric has confirmed that the breach has been reported to law enforcement and the appropriate regulatory authorities.

Banks will communicate with their customers about how they may be affected by the breach and what is being done to protect them.

South African Banking Risk Information Centre

Listen to the interview with the Experian South Africa CEO below:

This article first appeared on 702 : 'Millions' of South Africans' personal info exposed in credit bureau data breach