Info of children as young as 3 found in SA data breach

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Johannesburg - The personal information of children as young as 3 years old has been found in the leaked data of the country's worst data breach. 

The latest statistics about the data breach reveal that 19% of the names in the database are of children, and a further 10% are teenagers, according to Microsoft Regional Director Troy Hunt, who first alerted SA to to the massive data leak. 

“Why on earth would you want little kids in this database?! As of today these are 3 year olds and no, there's no names or other personal data on those records but... why?!” Hunt said in a blog post.

Hunt, founder of the free service called Have I Been Pwned which aggregates information on data breaches, said he had been stunned by the finding.

“I was pretty stunned to see that - 19% of the records in there are apparently children. That's not including teenagers either and if we add them, that figure jumps to 29%,” Hunt said. 

The Department of Home Affairs is apparently now investigating the breach, according to Hunt. On Thursday the Directorate for Priority Crimes Investigations, better known as the Hawks, announced its own investigation.

"The Hawks typically does not comment on ongoing investigations, however, in light of the intense public interest and the potential impact of this matter, the Hawks are collaborating with other law enforcement agencies and stakeholders investigating the data breach," it said in a statement on Thursday. 

Fin24 recently reported that despite SA having a population of 56 million, the data breach reached 60 million unique ID numbers as it included information on SA citizens that were deceased and living abroad. 

The incident is believed as the biggest ever breach of the Protection of Personal Information Act.

Hunt said on Tuesday that the database contained names of people, their gender, ethnicity, home ownership and contact information. The data also contained people’s identity numbers and other information like their estimated income and details of their employer. 

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