South Africa

South Africa’s CIPC database hacked – sensitive information exposed

South Africa’s Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) said there was a security breach where personal information was unlawfully accessed and exposed.

The CIPC notified South Africans of the security breach and the compromise of the personal information of clients and employees, which was held on the CIPC records.

The commission was forced to inform people about the security compromise because of the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA).

The CIPC said its technicians were alerted to the security compromise because of its firewall and data protection systems.

Following the security breach, certain CIPC systems were shut down to mitigate any possible damage.

“The compromise was isolated and curtailed, and the relevant systems are back up and available for processing,” it said.

“Unfortunately, certain personal information of our clients and CIPC employees was unlawfully accessed and exposed.”

The CIPC warned its clients to be vigilant and monitor credit card transactions closely. “Only approve and authorise known and valid transaction requests,” it said.

The commission did not immediately say what information of its employees and clients were compromised and exposed.

“The extent of the exposure is being investigated and will be communicated as soon as possible,” it said.

It added that it recognises the importance of the consistent availability of its systems and the safeguarding of information that is not in the public domain.

“We are working actively to minimise the impact on the CIPC clients and employees,” the CIPC said.

It said it is taking every reasonable step to ensure that all CIPC systems and platforms are safe and protected from unauthorised and unlawful access.

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