South Africa's Department of Justice fined R5 million over ransomware attack

July 5, 2023
4 min read
fintech compliance

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Global payments company, Mastercard, has partnered with SomBank to launch debit cards in Somalia.

The SomBank Card, a Mastercard-branded debit card, will give users access to a network of merchants and ATMs that accept Mastercard payments through the bank's network of branches and agents and will serve as a payment option for routine transactions throughout Somalia.

Customers now have another payment option for several transactions, including purchases, withdrawals, and online payments.

In 2021, Visa collaborated with the International Bank of Somalia (IBS Bank) to launch a financial card payment service in the country.

Here's what I've got for you today:

  • South Africa's Information Regulator fines the Department of Justice R5 million
  • Kyosk enters the African fresh produce market

 South Africa's Information Regulator fines the Department of Justice R5 million 

fintech compliance

The Department of Justice and Constitutional Development (DoJ&CD) has received a R5 million ($267,810) administrative fine from South Africa's Information Regulator (IR).

It followed the department's failure to respond to the IR's regulatory enforcement notice issued on May 9 regarding a ransomware attack in September 2021.

The Information Regulator issued a warning in May 2023 and required the department to show proof within 31 days that it had renewed licences for security software that it believed could have prevented or lessened the ransomware attack.

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The regulator announced yesterday that the 31 days given to the department expired on June 9, 2023.

What are ransomware attacks? These are malware designed to hack into systems, encrypt potentially valuable files, and then lock users out of their data.

Following the attack, the department stated that it affected its electronic services, including letters of authority, handling bail, email, and the departmental website.

Consequently, the regulator mandated that the department renew its licences for Trend Anti-Virus, Security Incident and Event Monitoring, and Intrusion Detection Systems. 

The department's spokesman, Steve Mahlangu, initially stated that there was no proof that any specific person's data had been compromised. But they later discovered that the hackers had access to 1,204 files.

The attackers also reportedly demanded 50 bitcoin in exchange for the encrypted data.

The department has three options for handling the fine: pay within 30 days of its issuance, work out a payment plan with the regulator, or be prosecuted for violating the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA).

Kyosk enters the African fresh produce market

Kyosk Digital Farm Fresh launch

Kenyan online retail distribution startup, Kyosk Digital Services, has entered the African fresh produce market with the launch of Farm & Fresh.

It comes after the company acquired KwikBasket, a startup that specialises in distributing agricultural produce and offers services and solutions to farmers, commercial kitchens, and other players in the food chain.

The startup is rebranding the uLima digital platform, which offered farmers high-quality inputs, specialised market data, and connections to markets, to Kyosk Farm.

Kyosk Farm will now build on the framework of uLima, utilising its current features and functionality while enhancing the overall user experience.

With Kyosk Fresh, the startup claims farmers can access better yields, a reliable market, fair pricing, crucial information and insights, and agri-inputs. It will provide a broad range of premium products to meet the needs of eateries, restaurants, and other customers.

Kyosk says Farm & Fresh will transform the African fresh produce market and build a more productive and inclusive ecosystem by fusing its digital-first strategy, large-scale operations, and KwikBasket's agricultural expertise.  

Why does it matter? Farmers on the African continent face several challenges because of disjointed and ineffective distribution networks for agricultural products, leading to significant production losses, low income, waste, and high food prices.

Raphael Afaedor founded Kyosk Digital Services in Kenya in 2019 to transform how African farmers, small-scale retailers (kiosks), and communities connect with high-quality, reasonably priced goods and services through digitised value chains.

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Have a lovely Wednesday!

Victoria Fakiya for Techpoint Africa.

She's autistic and interested in mental health and how technology can help Africans with mental disorders. Find her on Twitter @latoria_ria.
She's autistic and interested in mental health and how technology can help Africans with mental disorders. Find her on Twitter @latoria_ria.
She's autistic and interested in mental health and how technology can help Africans with mental disorders. Find her on Twitter @latoria_ria.

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