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Hackers Stole $16.6 Million From South African Ministry Over Decade, Audit Shows

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 - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 11.07.2024
According to Statista data, from March to May last year, government agencies around the world experienced 55,000 cyberattacks, but already in June-August of the same year, the number doubled — to 100,000.
South Africa's Department of Public Works and Infrastructure has lost R300 million (a bit over $16.6 million) over the past 10 years, Dean Macpherson, who’s been head of the ministry since June 30, said at a briefing on the audit's initial findings.

“In order to build trust with South Africans, we must be transparent about the problems we face. We will ensure that financial controls are tightened and we hold those responsible accountable for their actions. I will continue to update you when more information becomes available,” he assured the public.

He cautioned that the losses could be more significant as the investigation continues.
Furthermore, Macpherson said that the most recent cyberattack on the department occurred in May. At that time, according to the minister, the attackers stole 24 million rand (about $1.3 million). He added that hackers are increasingly using artificial intelligence to hack ministerial networks.
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South African security forces took part in the audit. They did not say from what places and by whom the attacks on the ministry were carried out. However, four ministry officials, including some of its senior leadership, were suspended as a precaution. Investigators also seized 30 laptops from ministry employees.
Perhaps the republic needs to take an example from another country in the region and begin to cooperate with the Russian company Kaspersky for reliable protection of government departments. In mid-May, the company representatives met with Zambia's Minister of Science and Technology, Felix Mutati, to discuss their efforts in tackling cybercrime.