11 December 2012

South Africa: Public Info On Govt Websites Is Secure - SITA

Pretoria — The State Information Technology Agency (SITA) has assured government departments and stakeholders that public information on government websites is secure and well protected.

This comes after media reports at the weekend that three government websites were hacked. However, the websites were in fact defaced and not hacked.

SITA said it responded swiftly to the defacing of three government websites which were immediately restored and it was assisting all government departments to prevent future such incidents.

The Agency's acting CEO Khumbudzo Ntshavheni said the three websites were not hacked but defaced - only the front-face or cosmetic parts were altered but no government information was under threat.

Ntshavheni thanked the South African online community for its support and assured all South Africans that "sensitive and confidential information was not found on government websites nor was it accessible through the websites".

She said this information was protected by an extremely comprehensive and detailed standard set of controls comprising best practices in information security.

"SITA is confident of its work and capacity to secure government information and this remains the bedrock of its operations," she said.

SITA said it wished to make it clear that this was a cyber-criminal activity that would not be tolerated in South Africa.

"SITA will continue to check the links that emerged from the defacement reports, to assist departments and to advise them on measures to update their current information and communication technology infrastructure," said Ntshavheni.

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