The South African Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is investigating the possibility that its systems were hacked by a malicious actor.
The CAA is a public entity that is responsible for promoting, regulating and enforcing civil aviation safety and security within the country.
Among other areas, it is responsible for the approval of flight procedures, the licensing of air traffic controllers and ensuring that all aircraft that fly in the country’s airspace are airworthy.
Speaking to Jacaranda, spokesperson Kabelo Ledwaba said that on 1 July the authority became aware that some of its IT systems were not operating normally.
“On closer inspection, it was noted that some files had suspicious characteristics which were regarded as anomalies,” he said.
“Upon conducting a preliminary investigation it was decided that some of the servers should be disconnected from the network.”
Ledwaba said that the authority has launched an internal investigation and has notified state authorities about the possible breach.
“Only after the conclusion of this investigation will we know with absolute certainty that an individual that deliberately attempted to disrupt the services of the CAA.”
Ledwaba said that servers are continuing as usual, but may be slower than normal as they are handled manually.