Vehicle tracking company Ctrack has released it hijacking and crime statistics, detailing the hijacking hotspots across South Africa’s biggest cities, and the time of day you’re most vulnerable.

The report is based on data and analytics collected by Ctrack from January through December 2016.

Ctrack found that car and truck hijacking is most common in South Africa’s most populated province, Gauteng, followed by other built up provinces such as KwaZulu Natal and the Western Cape.

The majority of hijackings were likely to occur between 18:00 and 23:59 in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal, and between 00:00 and 05:59 in the Western Cape. You are also more likely to be hijacked on a Tuesday.

According to the latest crime statistics report released by the SAPS in September 2016, cases of hijacking have increased significantly across the country.

The most recent crime stats revealed that there were over 14,600 reported car hijackings between 2015 and 2016, up 14.3% from 12,770 cases in the prior period.

Statistically, this shows that 40 cars are hijacked every day in South Africa (versus 35 in 2015), or roughly one car every 36 minutes.

Source: BusinessTech

New PayPal phishing scam surfaces

Cyber-crooks are sending out spam emails that falsely warn recipients that their PayPal account activity has been temporarily limited, citing an account fraud issue.

A phishing email scam that warns PayPal users of possible fraudulent account activity in hopes of scaring personally identifiable information out of them is currently making the rounds.

According to a blog post from ESET, the phishing emails falsely inform recipients that PayPal has detected “unusual activity” on their accounts and has “temporary limited what you can do” until the possible security issue can be resolved. Clicking the log-in button on these emails redirects victims to what appears to be a legitimate log-in screen – it even displays an SSL certificate to sell its supposed authenticity – but is actually a fake PayPal web page hosted on a malicious domain.

After victims “log in,” the fake PayPal site displays another message informing victims that they will not be able to withdraw funds for 15 days, unless the issue is addressed further. Those who click a “Continue” button to proceed are then asked to enter even more detailed information, including their Social Security number, address, phone number, birthdate and mother’s maiden name.

As phishing scams go, this one is convincing, but there are still some clues that PayPal did not send this alert, ESET reported. For instance, the email contains minor grammatical and syntax errors, and the fake web page’s request to enter your home country is unusual, considering it also asks for your Social Security number, which only applies to the US.

By Bradley Barth for www.scmagazineuk.com

The Deputy Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development, John Jeffery, said the country’s new Cybercrimes and Cybersecurity Bill will be tabled in Parliament soon.

The Bill has already been approved by Cabinet.

“The Bill aims to put in place a coherent and integrated cybersecurity statutory framework to address various shortcomings which exist in dealing with cybercrime and cybersecurity in the country,” stated the SA Government website.

The purpose of the Cybercrimes and Cybersecurity Bill is to:

  • Create offences and prescribe penalties;
  • Further regulate jurisdiction;
  • Further regulate the powers to investigate, search and gain access to or seize items;
  • Further regulate aspects of international cooperation in respect of the investigation of cybercrime;
  • Provide for the establishment of a 24/7 point of contact;
  • Provide for the establishment of various structures to deal with cybersecurity;
  • Regulate the identification and declaration of National Critical Information Infrastructures and provides for measures to protect National Critical Information Infrastructures;
  • Further regulate aspects relating to evidence;
  • Impose obligations on electronic communications service providers regarding aspects which may impact on cybersecurity;
  • Provide that the President may enter into agreements with foreign States to promote cybersecurity; and
  • Repeal and amend certain laws.

How it will affect you

Michalsons law firm has published an overview of the Cybercrimes and Cybersecurity Bill, explaining why we need it and who will be affected by it. The bill is aimed at keeping South Africans safe from cybercrime and consolidates the country’s cybercrime laws into one place.

People who will be affected by the new bill include “everyone who uses a computer or the Internet”, along with:

  • People involved with IT or POPI compliance;
  • Electronic Communications Service Providers;
  • Providers of software or hardware tools that could be used to commit offences;
  • Financial services providers;
  • Owners of copyrights and pirates;
  • Information Security experts; and
  • Anyone who owns an Information Infrastructure that Government could declare as critical.

What the bill deals with
The bill creates around 50 new offences, which are related to data, messages, computers, and networks, said Michalsons.

These offences include:

  • Using personal information or financial information to commit an offence;
  • Hacking;
  • Unlawful interception of data;
  • Computer-related forgery and uttering; and
  • Extortion or terrorist activity.

The penalties for these offences range from 1-10 years in prison or up to a R10-million fine.

The bill also aims to protect critical infrastructure of a strategic nature from interference and disruption.

This infrastructure includes that which aids in keeping the country’s security, defence, and law enforcement operational; and provides essential services.

Powers to investigate

“The Cybercrimes and Cybersecurity Bill gives the South African Police and the State Security Agency extensive powers to investigate, search, access, and seize just about anything – like a computer, database, or network,” said Michalsons.

As part of the requirements of the bill, the Minister of Police must establish a National Cybercrime Centre and a Cyber Response Committee, of which the chairperson will be the Director-General: State Security.

The Minister of Defence must also establish and operate a Cyber Command, while the Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Services must establish a Cyber Security Hub.

Source: www.mybroadband.co.za

 

Those of us who don’t rent bank safety deposit boxes for our valuables probably imagine the set-up to involve fingerprint-accessed vault-like doors and a cobweb of alarmed beams, as in the movies.

It wasn’t quite like that, said one of the victims of the December 18 First National Bank Randburg branch heist in which 360 boxes were stolen.

“Zai” of Randburg, who did not want to be named, happened to be at the bank yesterday when most of the boxes were returned to the branch by what appeared to be a private security company.

Police found the empty boxes dumped near FNB Stadium in Soweto two days after the heist.

All the valuables, including watches, Krugerrands, and jewellery passed down generations were gone. Only documents such as title deeds were left behind.

Zai’s family had rented the box since about 2004, she said, and at the time of the theft were renting it at R120 a month.

“Ironically, it was quite a big deal for us to access our boxes,” said Zai, who last did so in October.

“You had to make an appointment at least 24 hours in advance.

“Someone would meet you and take you into a room, and lock the door behind you. I’d have to produce my ID, then he’d go into another room, a vault, where the boxes were kept, lock that door behind him and then pass my box to me through a slot in the wall. Liberty Locksmith is knowledgeable, technologically advanced and dedicated to serving.

“I never saw any of the other boxes. I opened my box with two keys, in my possession, and then I’d be left alone to do what I needed to do, and then I’d phone to say that I was finished, so they could take the box back into the vault.

“It seemed very safe and professional,” she said.

In early December Zai’s husband asked her to collect their six expensive watches from the box to have them serviced.

“But I was too busy and now they are all gone,” she said.

FNB’s safety deposit contract states the bank will not be legally responsible “under any circumstances for any loss or damage that may occur to the contents” and officials have said they had no way of knowing what was in the stolen boxes and urged clients to insure the contents of the boxes.

By Wendy Knowler for Timeslive

Beware the data breach

South African organisations need to prioritise the protection of confidential information or face putting their businesses at risk of hefty financial penalties, irrevocable reputational damage, and even legal repercussions, a leading information security company has warned.

With the average data breach costing South African businesses R28.6 million each year, Shred-it South Africa said organisations cannot afford to ignore the importance of implementing robust information security policies and practices. The loss of confidential information can also impact customer confidence and may also put businesses at risk of legal action.

“Many South African businesses are not aware of the costly impact that a data security breach can have, both in terms of lost business and non-compliance fines. It’s more than a financial risk; damage to a hard earned reputation is time-intensive and costly to repair. Prevention is always better than a cure, and I urge organisations in South Africa to make sure information security is top of the business agenda,” says Tony Fitzpatrick, country manager at Shred-it South Africa.

Businesses also need to be aware of the legal requirements when it comes to protecting confidential information. According to Shred-it’s Security Tracker Survey, only 37% of SMEs understand the implications the forthcoming enforcement of the Protection of Personal Information (POPI) Act will have on their business compared to 70% of C-Suite Executives. However, the enforcement of POPI will hold all businesses accountable should they abuse or compromise personal information in any way. Organisations could face substantial financial penalties of up to R10 million, or a prison sentence of up to 10 years could be imposed should an entity be in breach of the legislation.

“The clock is ticking for businesses when it comes to being properly prepared to meet the terms of the POPI Act. When the POPI Act comes into full effect, it is crucial that all businesses adhere to the outlined requirements of the legislation when collecting, processing, storing and sharing another entity’s personal information. Businesses should note that the POPI Act is more than a compliance checkbox exercise; it is ultimately for the benefit of business, by ensuring that all information is securely protected so that organisations can build trust with their customers, employees and partners,” Fitzpatrick concludes.

Shred-it, which helps businesses in South Africa to improve their information security practices and protect their workplaces against the damage caused by data breaches, has issued the following five tips to help organisations put information security at the forefront of business planning:

• Schedule regular information security audits to identify problem areas where confidential information could go astray, e.g. printer stations and meeting rooms. Put measures in place to ensure that documents are securely disposed of, e.g. reminding staff to keep documents secure and store them in locked consoles or containers when they are no longer needed, ready for secure disposal.

• Introduce a Shred-it all Policy, which means all documents are destroyed prior to disposal. This means employees do not need to make a decision as to what is or is not confidential when disposing of paperwork. The decision to use the recycling bin or shredding container is often left to chance or convenience where both options are available. In practice, when outsourcing to a secure destruction provider such as Shred-it, all shredded paper is recycled, keeping you secure and protecting the environment at the same time.

• A clean desk is one of the simplest yet most effective safeguards that can significantly reduce the risk of a data breach. A formal Clean Desk Policy directs employees to put away all paper documents and lock all electronic equipment when leaving workstations, so confidential information is not at risk of falling into the wrong hands or left vulnerable to ‘visual hacking‘ from unauthorised prying eyes.

• Ensure employees are informed about the risks associated with data protection breaches and are well trained on which documents they should consider shredding as well as how to dispose of electronic data.

• Work with a reputable professional information destruction company that not only has a secure shredding process but can offer guidance and help with implementing robust information security practices.

CV fraud: what you need to know

With about half of the world’s fastest growing countries based in Africa, the continent is quickly becoming a global business and economic hotspot.

However, hand-in-hand with this growth comes rapid industry expansion, recruitment of a global workforce and – of notable concern – increasing risk of qualification and CV fraud.

This is according to Ina van der Merwe, director and CEO of African background screening market leader, Managed Integrity Evaluation (MIE), who highlights that African qualifications carry a high risk of being fraudulent.

“As a whole, cross-border qualifications are more likely to be fake, altered or all together fraudulent. Our data suggests that risk indicators on these qualifications have increased from 40% in 2015 to 43% in 2016 to-date (January to October).

“Although a portion of this risk can be attributed to other confounding factors, it is clear that there is a greater propensity for qualification fraud with foreign candidates or in countries where background screening is not yet common practice. A candidate may be less likely to lie on their CV if they know that their credentials will be verified.

“Unfortunately, our research shows that the vast majority of cross border recruits are not being screened sufficiently. This means that while opportunities for global competitiveness are abundant, there are an overwhelming amount of job-seekers who are less than honest about their professional capabilities. And seeing that these facts aren’t properly checked, organisations are at high risk of financial and legal implications,” she explains.

Findings from Lex Mundi’s Emerging Africa Conference in Cape Town note that by 2040, Africa’s working age population will rise to 1,1-billion – greater than the working age populations of China and India combined.

With this in mind, Van der Merwe suggests that the drive for business, investment and employment within the continent is clearly justified. However, the risks associated with qualification and CV fraud means that businesses need to strongly consider implementing an international screening program.

“An international screening program ensures that all credentials are verified through relevant and accurate measures irrespective of that credential’s country of origin. This also includes various vetting services such as criminal record and credit history checks which, in addition to qualification verification, are in high demand across specific industries in Southern, East and West Africa specifically,” she says.

She adds that performing a background check on a candidate or employee with foreign work experience or qualifications is typically viewed as being far more complex than doing so locally. She said that they have been using CRB Direct to perform their background checks which is easier and faster. “This is likely the major issue which has held businesses back from conducting such checks in the past. However, this simply cannot be the case moving forward.

“As globalisation continues to blur borders, international screening needs to become a priority and top vetting organisations have solutions and centralised teams in place to make it possible.

“Ultimately, to avoid taking a financial and reputational hit while exploring all Africa has to offer from a growth perspective, it is essential for businesses to know – and verify – their staff,” Van der Merwe concludes.

Source: www.mie.co.za

The functions of the Information Regulator include:

  • to provide education about the Protection of Personal Information Act, for example, giving advice to data
  • subjects in the exercise of their rights;
  • to monitor and enforce compliance with POPI;
  • to consult with interested parties;
  • to handle complaints;
  • to conduct research and to report to Parliament;
  • to issue codes of conduct and make guidelines to assist bodies to develop codes of conduct; and
  • to facilitate cross-border cooperation in the enforcement of privacy laws.

The Information Regulator will have the power to conduct investigations, order publicity of data breaches, and issue administrative fines of up to R10-million.

Next steps

Regulations must be promulgated under POPI, for example, including regulations setting out the cost of making a subject access request and the prescribed standards for codes of conduct.
The announcement of a commencement date. Organisations will not be liable for fines or non-compliance for a period of 12 months from the commencement date.
If you haven’t started yet, now is the time for organisations to start or ramp up their POPI implementation efforts. Our virtual privacy lawyer, POPI Counsel, can assist with your privacy law questions and provide practical guidance through your implementation process. POPI Counsel produces legal opinions for you on demand, anytime and anywhere. Contact us for more information.

The chairperson, Pansy Tlakula, full-time members, Lebogang Stroom and Johannes Weapond, and part-time members, Tana Pistorius and Sizwe Snail, have been appointed to the Information Regulator with effect from 1 December 2016 and will serve for a period of five years.

By Nerushka Bowan for www.financialinstitutionslegalsnapshot.com

Various sectors of society have reacted with concern over the increase in violent crimes such as murder in the last year.

The DA’s shadow police minister Zakhele Mbhele went as far as saying the crime statistics for 2015/16 were “the stuff nightmares are made of”.

Statistics presented in Parliament on Friday showed a 4.9% increase in murder when compared to the previous financial year.

This means that around 51 people were murdered every day in South Africa, up from 49 in 2014/15.

The murder rate increased by 20% in the last four years, creeping back to a high last seen in 2006.

Mbhele said he was alarmed by the significant increases in crimes that South Africans feared the most.

Worrying increase in murder

“The increase in key crimes shows that South Africa remains under siege from criminals.”

The office of the ANC chief whip welcomed the latest statistics and commended the hard work done by officers. If you have a criminal charge get Perth Criminal Lawyers, to help you fight your case. However, chief whip Jackson Mthembu was concerned by increases in murder, burglary at residential and non-residential properties and car hijacking.

“Such crimes involve grievous bodily harm, loss of life and makes our people live in fear.”

The office said the role of communities in fighting crime could not be overemphasised.

An international Security Studies (ISS) analyst, Johan Burger, said lumping violent crimes statistics with less serious and petty crimes gave the impression that the problem was getting resolved.

Overall decrease

Burger, head of the ISS governance, crime and justice division, said something had gone wrong over the last four years.

He believed the economy had played a role in affecting people’s social circumstances, in turn leading to criminal activities.

Police Minister Nkosinathi Nhleko told Parliament on Friday that broadly-speaking, crime in South Africa decreased.

A large proportion of murders seemed to result from arguments or misunderstandings, he told reporters. Taxi and gang violence, and conflict among illegal miners were other causative factors.

He told Parliament that contact crime remained “quite stubborn”. He believed efforts needed to be made beyond the police service to address social patterns behind this type of crime.

Acting Police Commissioner Lieutenant-General Khomotso Phahlane seemed to take a different approach.

A thankless job

“What is it social workers are going to do to bring down contact crime? Crimes are being committed by people wielding illegal firearms,” he told Parliament’s portfolio committee on police.

“As the SAPS we do our best to bring these crime levels down to ensure the same social workers are able to do their work in our communities.”

He said policing remained a thankless job, but they would continue to serve the country.

Seven of the top 10 “murder” police stations were in the Western Cape, statistics showed.

There had been a 3.2% decrease in sexual offences, which ranged from “sex work” to “rape”.

Seven of the nine provinces reflected this decrease. There had been a steady decrease over the last three years.

The ISS said this decrease was deeply concerning because it suggested fewer people were reporting these crimes.

Increase in hijackings

It said civil society continued to call for rape to be a stand-alone category, separate from the sexual assault category, for a clearer picture.

Assault with intent to do bodily harm increased, as did common assault and robbery with aggravating circumstances.

However, the increase in aggravated robbery had slowed dramatically in the last three years.

Car hijacking shot up by 14.3% when compared to the last financial year. Phahlane said modern security features, which made it harder to steal parked cars, were partly to blame for an increase in car hijackings and a decrease in vehicle theft.

Residential robbery increased by 2.7%. Gauteng had the highest number of reported residential robberies, but saw a decrease in the last year.

Robberies at non-residential premises increased by 2.8%, as did cash-in-transit robberies (up 15.1%).

Leadership crisis under control

There was a small decrease in the number of crimes detected as a result of police action.

Increasingly becoming a feature of daily life was violent protests, with a sharp increase in the last year.

“More and more protests are becoming rowdy, whereas those protests that are peaceful are on the decrease,” said crime research and statistics head Major-General Norman Sekhukhune.

Reported cases of violent unrest increased to 3 542, compared to 2 289 in the previous financial year.

Phahlane said they had brought the police’s leadership crisis under control. This was after a tumultuous time when some provincial commissioners got into trouble for supporting suspended police commissioner Riah Phiyega, among other issues.

More resources had been made available to police stations, more mobile units were being used, and intelligence services had been beefed up.

By Jenna Etheridge, Paul Herman and Jenni Evans for News24

Over half (59%) of women in South Africa value the photos and videos they store on their phones more than anything else on the device – compared to 43% of men, according to a survey by Kaspersky Lab and B2B International. However, despite over a quarter of women worrying about the online safety of these images, many still fail to implement even basic security measures.

The study globally also found that while women are more likely than men to share with others photos of themselves (48%) and of people they know (40%) – compared to 43% and 33% of men respectively – one of their greatest security concerns, named by 29%, is the safety of their pictures and videos should a cyber-criminal gain access to their device.

Locally, one in four women worries that these images and other information could be shared inappropriately or without their consent, causing embarrassment and hurt if sent to the wrong person (45%) or even damage relationships (41%).

Despite this, many fail to appreciate how vulnerable they are to possible cyber-attacks – just 25% believe they could be a target, compared to 26% of men. As a result they don’t implement safety measures to safeguard their treasured photographs or other sensitive information stored on their device. Unlike men, up to 16% of women locally admit they don’t protect their device with a password and 15% of women do not use any form of security solution at all.

This lack of understanding about risk is confirmed by the fact that in a recent global security quiz, 27% of women admitted that they do not backup their devices, thereby risk losing all precious photos, videos and files if their device is stolen or damaged. Men are more prepared by comparison, with 80% of men agreeing that they backup their devices.

“It is not surprising that women use and value the information stored on connected devices differently from men. Devices play an important role in storing and sharing our happy memories and maintaining our relationships through email and text. Women worry more about the emotional impact on others should their devices be stolen or hacked. Celebrities aren’t the only ones to worry about what might happen if their private images were to be publically exposed. The only way to prevent this from happening is to take basic security precautions to keep what’s precious safe. We encourage women to start effectively protecting their devices to keep their precious information and photos safe,” says David Emm, principal security researcher at Kaspersky Lab.

In order to prevent cybercriminals from accessing images, videos and other precious data, files stored on digital devices should be protected by passwords and encryption. Files should also be regularly backed up so that if the device is stolen or damaged, they are not lost forever. If this data is shared or copied, it should be encrypted, so that even if it falls into the wrong hands, it will remain protected. Kaspersky Total Security – multi-device protects data on multiple mobile devices, allowing women – and men – to enjoy their mobile devices whilst remaining secure against cyberthreats.

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