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SA’s Legal System in Ruins: Fidelity Fund Cracked


The LPFF Case: A Stark Reminder of South Africa’s Cyber Security Crisis

The Legal Practitioners Fidelity Fund (LPFF) has become the latest victim of a cyber attack, joining a growing list of South African organisations that have fallen prey to hackers. This brazen breach is a stark reminder of the country’s woeful cyber security situation, which is increasingly becoming a hotbed of cyber crime.

The Attack: A Sneak Peek into the Dark Web

On June 20, 2024, the LPFF’s IT security team detected an unauthorised access to their systems, suggesting that an entity with administrative rights had successfully breached their security protocols and accessed sensitive data. The attack is believed to have affected systems operated by both the LPFF and the Legal Practitioners Indemnity Insurance Fund (LPIIF), a non-profit insurance company that provides primary layer of professional indemnity insurance to all attorneys in South Africa.

A Recipe for Disaster: Weak Security and Lack of Transparency

The LPFF’s response to the breach has been lacklustre, with the CEO sending an urgent notice to stakeholders informing them of the incident without providing any concrete details. The notice advised stakeholders to monitor their accounts for any unusual activity, change their passwords, and activate two-factor authentication. However, it failed to provide any information on the number of data subjects impacted by the breach or the extent of the damage.

A Growing Concern: South Africa’s Cyber Security Crisis

The LPFF case is just the tip of the iceberg. A recent report by Surfshark ranked South Africa fifth on a global cyber crime density list, highlighting the country’s vulnerability to cyber attacks. The office of the Information Regulator, which enforces POPIA, has seen a significant increase in the number of data breaches reported by local firms, with over 1 700 reported security compromises in the 2023 financial year.

A Call to Action: Strengthening Cyber Security Measures

The LPFF case serves as a stark reminder of the need for stronger cyber security measures in South Africa. The government and private sector must work together to address this growing concern and ensure that organisations are better equipped to protect their systems and data from cyber threats. Until then, South Africa will remain a hotbed of cyber crime, putting the country’s economy and citizens at risk.



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