Hackers using state-of-the-art technology stole and defrauded South Africans out of R250m in a single year, according to the SA Banking Risk Information Centre (Sabric) when releasing the latest digital banking crime statistics yesterday. It revealed that in 2017 cyber-criminals were involved in 13 438 online‚ mobile and Internet banking attacks, and the total sum siphoned off in all digital banking-related crimes during that year was R250m.

Sabric said between January and August this year there had been a 64% increase in such attacks‚ with a 100% increase in mobile banking app hacks‚ and nearly 50% increase in online banking attacks.

In the same period‚ cybercriminals stole more than R23.5m in mobile banking hacks‚ R89.3m in online banking attacks‚ and R70.1m in banking app breaches.

A TimesLIVE report quotes Sabric's chief executive officer‚ Kalyani Pillay‚ as saying because banks were deploying ‘robust’ mitigation strategies‚ ‘it is easier (for criminals) to target people‚ as they are the weakest link’. Pillay said it was critical that consumers were aware that they were their money’s best protection on all digital platforms.

We cannot stress the importance of not sharing confidential information with anyone or clicking on links in unsolicited e-mails.’

Full TimesLIVE report