South Africa's Liberty shares fall 5 percent after cyber attack

JOHANNESBURG, June 18 (Reuters) - Shares in South African insurer Liberty Holdings fell nearly 5 percent on Monday and appeared set for their worst daily fall since February 9 after it became the victim of a cyber attack last Thursday.

Liberty said on Sunday it become aware of the attack when an external party alerted the firm that it had seized data from the insurer and threatened to release it if it was not compensated for the hack.

At 0937 GMT, shares in Liberty weakened 4.28 percent to 118.69 rand. The shares are down 2.7 percent so far this year.

Liberty’s group Chief Executive David Munro said on Sunday that the firm had engaged with the external parties involved in the hacking to determine their intention, but made no concessions despite the attempted extortion.

Liberty’s biggest shareholder Standard Bank, which has a 53 percent stake, said in an emailed response to questions it was supportive of the measures that Liberty has taken.

“The safety and security of Liberty’s customer information is, and remains, the company’s top priority,” Standard Bank said. (Reporting by Nqobile Dludla Editing by James Macharia)