The Hawks’ Serious Commercial Crime Investigation unit has arrested a 36-year old suspect in Gauteng for his alleged involvement in last year’s Experian data breach.
Last August, credit bureau Experian suffered a data breach that exposed the personal information of as many as 24 million South Africans and 793 749 business entities to a suspected fraudster.
In a statement released today, the Hawks says Experian is believed to have entered into a contract with the suspect who was disguised as a business owner.
“The suspect purported to be a certain Tebogo Mogashoa, a director of Talis Holdings. The agreement [with Experian] gave the person access to the personal information held by the credit bureau of millions of people. The suspect then proceeded to download approximately 23 million personal data records and 727 000 business records. The suspect then attempted to sell these records at about R4.2 million,” the Hawks statement reads.
Following the data breach incident, it emerged that some data from the credit bureau was later compromised and dumped on the Internet.
According to a report by iAfrikan, after investigations and a tip-off, the alleged Experian database was made available on the Web – on publicly viewable Web sites and forums.
Experian confirmed at the time that the files found on the Internet were identified as files which contain Experian data relating to the data breach incident, noting that it was taking all steps available to investigate the incident and reduce further dissemination of information.