Johannesburg, South Africa – A group of hackers has demanded a $60 million ransom from South African credit bureaus, TransUnion and Experian. The hackers claim to have stolen the personal information of millions of South Africans, including President Cyril Ramaphosa.
The hackers, who call themselves the N4ughtySecTU Group, have threatened to release the stolen data if their ransom demands are not met. They have also threatened to target other South African companies if the government does not pay the ransom.
Recall that this is not the first time that the N4aughtySecTU Group has targeted South African companies. In March 2022, they demanded a $15 million ransom from TransUnion after they stole the personal information of 28 million South Africans.
The South African government has condemned the latest ransom demand and has said that it will not negotiate with the hackers. The government has also warned TransUnion and Experian not to pay the ransom, as it could encourage further cyberattacks.
The South African Banking Council has also warned its members to be vigilant and to take steps to protect their customers’ data. This latest ransomware attack highlights the growing threat of cybercrime in South Africa. Businesses of all sizes need to be aware of the risks and take steps to protect themselves.
Here are some tips for you to protect your businesses from ransomware:
- Implement strong cybersecurity measures, including firewalls, antivirus software, and data encryption.
- Educate employees about ransomware and how to avoid clicking on phishing links or opening suspicious attachments.
- Back up your data regularly and store backups offline.
- Have a plan for responding to a ransomware attack.
Businesses should also consider purchasing cyber insurance to help cover the costs of a ransomware attack.The South African government is also taking steps to address the growing threat of cybercrime.
How to protect yourself from ransomware?
To protect yourself from ransomware:
- Backup Data:
- Regularly back up important files in a secure location.
- Update Software:
- Keep your operating system and security software up to date.
- Use Antivirus Software:
- Install reputable antivirus and anti-malware software.
- Be Cautious with Emails:
- Avoid opening suspicious email attachments or links.
- Stay Informed:
- Educate yourself about phishing tactics and share knowledge.
- Strong Passwords:
- Use complex and unique passwords, consider a password manager.
- Enable Two-Factor Authentication:
- Add an extra layer of security with 2FA.
- Limit User Privileges:
- Restrict user permissions to necessary levels.
- Network Segmentation:
- Isolate critical systems and sensitive data in your network.
- Monitor Network Activity:
- Regularly check for unusual network behavior.
- Have an Incident Response Plan:
- Develop and update a plan for responding to ransomware incidents.
- Test Backups:
- Periodically test backup and recovery processes for effectiveness.
In 2021, the government established the Cyber Security Agency of South Africa (CISA) to coordinate the government’s response to cybercrime. CISA is working to develop a national cybersecurity strategy and to raise awareness of cybercrime among businesses and consumers.