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Picture: 123RF/WELCOMIA
Picture: 123RF/WELCOMIA

It is axiomatic that two years of Covid plus four years of Donald Trump, not to mention Ivermectin, the Taliban taking Kabul without a fight and Jacob Zuma often demanding a day in court yet torpedoing every offer of said day would leave anyone adrift in a leaky boat on a sea of bewilderment.

But just in case you thought the universe was finished with handing out speechlessness, I give you TransUnion’s data breach.

TransUnion had one job and that was to keep customers’ data safe, yet it seems to have been importuned by a bunch of hackers who apparently gained access to the personal information of millions of South Africans.

The hackers allegedly used a single customer’s logon details to wheel their Trojan horse into Fortress TransUnion. The customer’s password was, again allegedly, "Password".

Words fail. Just like that password.

TransUnion helpfully suspended the customer’s account. Here are three more words for you, chaps: stable, horse, door.

On firing up the company’s website, a pop-up appears: "www.transunion.co.za wants to … Know Your Location. Block. Allow".

Er, no thanks.

It should be self-evident, nearly 30 years after the internet arrived in this troubled republic, that the web is basically the world’s longest-running 419 scam with some useful sideshows such as 4x4 forums, government portals, online shopping, company websites that no-one ever looks at and travel blogs written by people who should not be allowed to either travel or write unaccompanied.

What will come of the TransUnion breach? Will it pay the $15m "ransom"? Will the hackers really give back the data they stole? Do they actually have it? Why do you never see baby pigeons? How long is a piece of string? Where is the end of the rainbow?

Bewildered, Cape Town.


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