South Africa’s Data Leak Leaves Millions at the Risk of Identity Theft


When Troy Hunt, a security consultant and researcher took it to Twitter to announce that he had gotten his hands on a “very large breach titled masterdeeds” it was not exactly clear what he was talking about. A few hours later and now we know that the “large breach” he is talking about is actually a 27GB sql file containing millions of personal records of South Africans including ID Numbers, official names, age, marital status, income, employment details, property ownership details, the most recent physical address, email address and even the deceased status, i.e. whether said person is alive or dead.

According to Troy Hunt, the records are well over 30 million. He told iAfrikan that after importing the records into MySQL for several hours he had imported approximately 30 million unique records and the import was not yet done. The records date back to the 90s, Troy says, since when he checked his details using his South African ID number, the records had information of his first job back in 1998.

How did this happen?

iAfrikan did some investigations that led them to believe that the leak came from either a credit bureau or a data aggregation company. During the investigations, attention was drawn to one of South Africa’s data aggregators, Dracore Data Sciences. It has been alleged (without evidence) that Dracore collected an enormous volume of data without it being clear whether the owners of the said data approved this, Dracore then published the data “to a web server with absolutely zero protection” and that is probably how the leak occurred after someone somewhere came across this web server. However, Techweez cannot confirm the absolute truth to this.

The consequences?

The kind of information that has been leaked puts all South Africans at the risk of identity theft since the records contain enough information for anyone to “take over” your life. The worst part is that at the time of publishing, the records were still online, available for anyone to download.

This is a developing story and we will update you on more information whenever it will be available.


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