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Professional Provident Society suffers ‘malicious’ cyber attack

Staff Writer
By Staff Writer, ITWeb
Johannesburg, 15 Mar 2021

The IT systems of insurance and investment firm the Professional Provident Society (PPS) have been hit by a cyber attack, the company confirmed in a statement to its members.

This follows member grievances on social media about the operation of the firm’s systems.

In the statement sent to members over the weekend, the insurer for graduate professionals says: “PPS regrets to inform you that we have fallen victim to a malicious cyber attack on our IT systems.

“Our ongoing independent forensic investigation continues; our IT experts are now focused on restoring full functionality.”

With more than 200 000 members, PPS describes itself as a provider of tailor-made insurance, investment and healthcare solutions exclusively for graduate professionals with an honours level/equivalent or higher qualification, from a public institution or certain listed private institutions.

To minimise impact caused by the cyber attack, the company says it has implemented a number of alternative processes in the interim. “Continuing with our usual high-quality service delivery to our members is our priority.

“We apologise for the inconvenience this may cause you and thank you for your patience while we expect to experience continued delays over the coming days.”

The PPS attack comes on the back of several South African organisations falling prey to cyber criminals in recent months.

In August, financial services provider Momentum Metropolitan revealed it was hit by a cyber attack; meanwhile, Lombard Insurance also suffered a data breach in July 2020.

Before the Lombard incident, credit bureau Experian also experienced a breach of data, which exposed some personal information of as many as 24 million South Africans and 793 749 business entities to a suspected fraudster.

In June 2020, Life Healthcare Group, the second largest private hospital operator in SA, indicated it was also a victim of a cyber attack, in the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak.