West Rand municipality used unlicensed software and got caught

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The Gauteng High Court has found the Westonaria Local Municipality guilty of hacking Business Intelligent Quotient (BIQ) software to bypass the software licence expiry date.

The owner of BIQ, Quill Associates, built a feature into its software that would deny access to BIQ programmes when the software license expired. Users would still be able to access any databases they had previously been working on once an updated license was acquired.

According to a report by the Randfontein Herald, the Westonaria municipality did not do this. It instead hired Comperio Forensic Services to secure the AS/400 server and BIQ applications. Comperio then changed a BIQ master file which reinstated the previously expired software giving the Westonaria full access despite not have a valid license.

The municipality then installed the hacked software on several other computers.

Judge S. Potterill has since found the municipality guilty of illegally hacking the BIQ software and ordered the municipality to pay a fine of R5.75 million.

Afriforum’s provincial coordinator of Gauteng, Chris Fourie said in a statement “The actions of the municipality are indeed worrisome; although they knew that there is a dispute over the license, they still employed an entity to change the expiry date of the license.”

[Via – Randfontein Herald, Image – Beth Cortex-Neavel]

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz writes news, reviews, and opinion pieces for Hypertext. His interests include SMEs, innovation on the African continent, cybersecurity, blockchain, games, geek culture and YouTube.