SA aviation authority still to pinpoint attack source

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There is no end in sight for the South African Civil Aviation Authority’s (SACAA’s) quest to establish who is responsible for the suspected attack on its IT infrastructure.

When contacted yesterday, SACAA spokesperson Kabelo Ledwaba would not give a specific target date for the conclusion of the investigation, which began a week ago.

“What is important to note is that SACAA immediately executed its business continuity plans, which have thus far yielded positive outcomes.

“As a result, the SACAA has managed to restore almost all its services, and in the process ensured that the organisation’s ICT system gradually returns to optimum use.”

Ledwaba could not be drawn on the extent of the damage to the aviation authority’s infrastructure, saying: “It is not prudent to discuss in detail the ICT security systems of the SACAA in public; save to say that rumours that the organisation does not have a cyber security in place are simply untrue.

“In this digital-driven era, anyone without ICT security will be vulnerable and ultimately cease to exist.”

Ledwaba denies claims made in an e-mail copy that is being circulated alleging SACAA is in talks with unknown individual(s) demanding a ransom payment.

“This is a misrepresentation of facts, as the organisation continually receives such and other phishing e-mails and spoofs, which are dealt with accordingly by the organisation through its ICT team. So, it is not the first time that such an e-mail had been sent to one or more of our employees.”

Last week, SACAA denied hacking as the reason behind the disconnection of the servers.

Ledwaba says SACAA is still able to service clients, although in some instances, services will be slower. The company’s e-mail system started working earlier this week after days of non-service.

“The SACAA can confirm the situation is under control. As such, services are continuing as per the norm; however, some of the services are now being offered manually, and therefore a bit slower than usual.

“It must be emphasised that the perception that there is a total shutdown of services is absolutely not true.”

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