n Africa Conflict Monthly Monitor - Southern Africa and cyber security - : Southern Africa - issue in focus

Volume 2013, Issue 07
  • ISSN :


On 22 May 2013, the website of the South African Police Service (SAPS) was hacked into, and information on crime supplied by 'whistle-blowers' was downloaded by the perpetrator(s) of the attack. The information, left on the SAPS website by individuals wishing to report actual or suspected crimes, remained on the public SAPS website when it should have been transferred to a private SAPS server. The hacker(s), who claimed via Twitter to represent the 'hacktivist' collective Anonymous, stated that they were motivated by a lack of charges against SAPS personnel involved in the shooting of 34 miners at the Lonmin mine in Marikana in August 2012. After the relevant data, including the personal details of complainants and 'whistle-blowers' was downloaded, the perpetrator(s) uploaded it to another website. Such an act could have assisted criminals wishing to intimidate or harm potential witnesses. Although much of the information was supplied to SAPS anonymously, it is thought that some of the details in the submissions could be used to trace individuals.

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