Ricochet News

Hawks confirm investigation into Master Deeds data breach

Oct 20, 2017
Hawks confirm investigation into Master Deeds data breach

The Acting National Head of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI), Lieutenant General Yolisa Matakata, has instructed an investigation into the alleged Master Deeds data breach, which exposed the personal information of more than 60 million South Africans.

According to Hawks spokesperson, Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi; "The Hawks typically does not comment on ongoing investigations, however, in light of the intense public interest and the potential impact of this matter, the Hawks are collaborating with other law enforcement agencies and stakeholders investigating the data breach."

He said that the scope of the investigation will not be discussed at this point, however, the Hawks’ Cybercrime Unit is leading the investigation. 

"Lieutenant General Matakata has instructed that investigators spare no effort in their probe and in enforcing the law to the fullest extent against anyone who is found to be at fault."

Data breach

The data breach only came to light after an Australian web security expert, Troy Hunt, notified South Africans of the existence of a 27 Gig data cache online.

In the data was the personal information of more than 60 million South Africans, including their ID numbers, addresses, contacts, salaries, age etc and included details on President Jacob Zuma and Police Minister, Fikile Mbalula.

Fears are that information the breach could have fallen in the wrong hands and could be used by fraudsters and identity theives.

It has been called the country’s largest ever data breach.

The data is now thought to have originated from Jigsaw Holdings‚ which includes Aida‚ ERA and Realty-1.