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Crimes you could be exposed to due to data leak

A massive data leak in South Africa could have huge implications for those whose personal records have been exposed. 

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South African online verification startup ThisIsMe says people are at risk of identity theft and financial crimes.



ThisIsMe spokesperson Brennan Wright says this is the biggest breach in SA history.



He encourages South Africans to check whether their data was leaked.



Wright explains what one could do to prevent falling victim to criminals due to the data leak.


Wright says: "The implications are dependent on the context and the depth of the hack or breach. If your ID number is breached, including your credit info and your income earnings, that is huge. People can ultimately setup their own credit lines in your name. You will find that people are opening up new credit lines without you even knowing it. The implications are massive."


The personal records of just over 60 million South Africans could have been publicly available for download for the past two and a half years.


READ ALSO: Data leak 'possibly started in 2015 already'


A web security expert who found the 'Master Deeds' file says both the file and web server are dated April 2015.


It contains sensitive information, including ID numbers, addresses and contact details. 


Microsoft regional director in Australia, Troy Hunt, further confirms the information has been exposed, at least for the past seven months.


"So we know that at the very least it was exposed in March when someone sent it to me and it was still exposed yesterday (Tuesday)," Hunt told Jacaranda FM News during a Skype interview. 


He says the file was found on a "publicly accessible web server".


The Hawks are investigating the publication of the massive data leak.


South Africans can also check to see if their email is among those leaked on Hunt's website - haveibeenpwned.com.


The search however only references the 2 million email addresses found in the file and not all 60 million records.

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