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Pharmaceutical Retailer Dis-Chem Announces Data Breach

On May 1st, South African pharmacy retailer Dis-Chem became aware that they had suffered a data breach that affected over 3.6 million customers. The breach stemmed from a third-party managed services provider that developed the database where the information was stored. While looking further into the issue, Dis-Chem stated that information such as first name, surname, email addresses, and cell phone numbers were accessed. Dis-Chem made a statement regarding the information that was accessed: “Based on the categories of personal information impacted, there is a possibility that any impacted personal information may be used by the unauthorized party to commit further criminal activities, such as phishing attacks, emails compromises, social engineering and/or impersonation attempts. For example, it may be cross-referenced with information compromised in other third-party cyber incidents, for the further perpetration of crime against data subjects.” Dis-Chem has refused to comment on the incident moving forward.

Analyst Notes

Those who may have been affected by the breach should remain vigilant moving forward. Any suspicious encounters should be dealt with cautiously. If one is unsure of the authenticity of an email or other form of communication, it is better to ask or reach out to the company directly to verify the message. If a suspicious message is interacted with, it is advised that no personal information is given out. Additionally, Google recently announced that they will remove cell phone numbers upon request if they appear in search results, which can further protect individuals from scam attempts.