Liberty refuses to pay hackers

Liberty Holdings says it refused a ransom demand after hackers breached its IT infrastructure and accessed some emails.

Liberty chief executive David Munro said on Sunday that the company did engage with the external parties involved to determine their intentions. Munro confirmed no concession was made in the face of this “attempted extortion”, saying, “Liberty is at an advanced stage of investigating the extent of the data breach, which at this stage, seems to be largely emails and possibly attachment”.

READ MORE: Data breach under control and under investigation, says Liberty CEO

The financial services and property holding company could not confirm the identity of the parties responsible for the data breach nor divulge the payment demanded because the matter is still subject to investigation by various authorities, Munro said.

Liberty says there is currently no evidence its customers nor affiliate clients have suffered any financial losses.

“We have gone to extreme lengths to enforce our IT infrastructure to ensure our customers’ information is protected,” Munro added.

“We totally understand the concerns they might have about the impact of this act of criminality,” he said.

According to Munro, the data breach is probably confined to Liberty emails and customers of Standard Bank Group, which controls Liberty, would not be affected unless they were also the insurer’s customers.

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Kiri Rupiah
Kiri Rupiah is the online editor at the Mail & Guardian.
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