Experian reported on Wednesday that their South African branch suffered a data breach recently. The data loss was not the result of a systems breach or a complex intrusion into their systems, but rather the result of social engineering by a clever fraudster. Experian worked with local authorities to report the incident and an investigation by South African authorities resulted in the arrest of the individual accused of being responsible. According to Experian, the arrest resulted in “the individual’s hardware being impounded, and the misappropriated data being secured and deleted.” Experian did not disclose how many customers were impacted by the data breach, however a report from the South African Banking Risk Centre (SABRIC) claimed that the breach impacted 24 million South Africans and 793,749 local businesses. The fraudster does not currently appear to have sold any of the data prior to the arrest and seems to have intended to use the data for marketing leads for insurance and credit-related services. Experian claims that the exposed data was all publicly available data that is “provided in the ordinary course of business.”
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