Hackers are attempting to reveal the identities of Lotto winners by infiltrating the operator's website. Ithuba, the operator, is also facing accusations of manipulating Lotto numbers for personal gain, as reported by the Sunday Times.
This occurs amid intense competition for the National Lottery's fourth licence in South Africa. The Department of Trade, Industry & Competition had issued a request for proposals earlier in the year.
With the bidding process for the licence heating up, Ithuba has noticed a spike in cyberattacks and social media criticism. The operator has observed unusually high traffic on its website, suggesting attempts to compromise its systems and expose Lottery winners' identities.
EIn response to a previous security breach, Ithuba took legal action in September 2022 against an individual who accessed the names of Lotto participants. The court ordered the hacker to delete the obtained information and barred them from disseminating it.
These security incidents have raised questions about the robustness of Ithuba's
IT systems. CEO Charmaine Mabuza acknowledges these concerns, stating, "We're in a critical phase of the bidding process, and such disturbances are expected."
Mabuza also faces allegations of rigging Lotto draws for personal enrichment. Critics have linked these accusations to the discontinuation of Ithuba's live TV broadcasts. However, Mabuza attributes the end of live broadcasts to the transition to random number generator technology.