Home South African Eskom pair fined R50 000 for hacking colleague’s e-mail account

Eskom pair fined R50 000 for hacking colleague’s e-mail account

414
SHARE

The two were discovered to have illegally accessed the work e-mail account of another employee and with whom one had had a romantic affair.

File image

TWO Eskom employees have been fined a joint R50 000 after they were found to have contravened the company’s security policy under the  Electronic Communications and Transactions Act. 

Genevieve Roux and Sean Millard were discovered to have illegally accessed the work e-mail account of Johannes Burger, another employee and with whom Roux had a romantic affair.

The Bellville Specialised Commercial Crimes Court on July 31 found that Roux had abused her position as a senior manager, violated Burger’s right to privacy and exposed the utility’s information to a security breach.

The court imposed a fine of R40 000 or two years in jail.

Millard, who also pleaded guilty, was slapped with a R10 000 fine or one year in jail.

The outcome of Eskom’s disciplinary hearing against Roux and Millard will be announced today.

In a press release, the company said: “Though motivated by personal reasons, Roux’s actions were in contravention of Eskom’s data security codes and endangered the national power utility’s information network, which is regarded as a critical database and is specifically protected by various pieces of legislation to ensure that the national security of South Africa is not compromised in any way.”

In a plea bargain, Roux admitted to nine counts of contravening the act emanating from illegally changing the password for Burger’s account to access his e-mails. She subsequently entered Burger’s office without his knowledge and sent e-mails from his account using his computer, and later her cellphone.

The court also heard how Millard, who is in a romantic relationship with Roux, helped her by impersonating Burger to obtain his e-mail settings from the Eskom call centre.

Summarising its judgment, the court held that a strong message must sent to discourage any illegal access to data, particularly in the technological age in which we are living.

The divisional executive for security at Eskom, Tebogo Rakau, said: “We are happy with the judgment as it shows how seriously we view the protection of the critical data that sits within Eskom.

“The fact that this breach did happen is also an eye opener for us, highlighting the need to institute even tighter security measures to ensure the integrity of the Eskom database from internal and external threats.” – Staff Writer