By Kaya 959 Reporter
The Department of Justice and Constitutional Development has been hit by an IT breach.
Department spokesperson Steve Mahlangu on Thursday confirmed that their IT systems had been hacked.
He said the breach was effected through ransomware on the evening of 6 September 2021. Mahlangu said ransomware is often spread through phishing emails that contain malicious attachments or through drive-by downloading.
He said drive-by downloading occurs when a user unknowingly visits an infected website and then malware is downloaded and installed without the user’s knowledge.
“This has led to all information systems being encrypted and unavailable to both internal employees as well as members of the public. As a result, all electronic services provided by the department are affected, including, issuing of letters of authority, bail services, email, and the departmental website,” he said.
Contingency measures in place
Mahlangu reassured all affected parties that the department’s IT teams are working tirelessly to restore services as soon as is possible.
“Child Maintenance payments for month-end have already been processed and will therefore not be impacted by the current system outage. The department has activated its Business Continuity Plan and put contingency measures in place to ensure that the IT system challenges do not affect court operations around the country,” he said.
This means manual recording equipment will be used to ensure that court seatings continue as scheduled.
Mahlangu said the Office of the Chief Master is currently using a manual process to provide bereaved families with the necessary documentation that they need to bury their loved ones.
“The Department’s IT experts are working together with state agencies to investigate and resolve the problem. So far no indication of data compromise has been detected. The Department apologises for any inconvenience this may cause to the public,” he said.
In July, Transnet was hit by a cyber attack.
At the time, Transnet said its container terminals, including the NAVIS system, had been affected.