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Kenya among most hit by cyber attacks–Kaspersky

Users in the country have faced more malware attacks this year so far

In Summary

•Kaspersky security solutions has reported on 28 million malware attacks in 2020 and 102 million detections of potentially unwanted programs

•PUA (Potentially Unwanted Applications) attack users almost four times more often than traditional malware.

Customers at Cyber cafe in Nairobi./ENOS TECHE
Customers at Cyber cafe in Nairobi./ENOS TECHE

Internet users in Kenya faced more malware attacks in the continent, year-to-date, as the country remains among the most affected by cyber attacks.

A report by multinational cybersecurity and anti-virus provider–Kaspersky indicates South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria have seen millions of cyber attacks in 2020, and the year is not over yet.

Kaspersky security solutions has reported 28 million malware attacks in 2020 and 102 million detections of potentially unwanted programs (pornware, adware among others).

 

These numbers show that it is not only the malware that attacks users but also the “grey zone” programs that grow in popularity and disturb their experiences, while users might not even know it is there.

Potentially Unwanted Applications (PUAs) are programs that are usually not considered to be malicious by themselves.

However, they are generally influencing user experience in a negative way.

For instance, adware fills user device with ads; aggressive monetising software propagates unrequested paid offers; downloaders may download even more various applications on the device, sometimes-malicious ones.

While calculating interim results of threat landscape activity in African countries, the researchers noticed that PUAs attack users almost four times more often than traditional malware.

They also eventually reach more users: for instance, while in South Africa, the malware would attack 415,000 users in seven months of 2020, the figure for PUA would be 736,000. “The reason why ‘grey zone’ software is growing in popularity is that it is harder to notice at first and that if the program is detected, its creators won’t be considered to be cybercriminals,” Denis Parinov, a security researcher at Kaspersky, said.

Such programs are exploited or used as a disguise for malware downloads.

 

By taking a closer look at PUA, it becomes apparent that they are not only more widespread but also more potent than traditional malware, Kaspersky notes.

Evaluating results over the same seven month period in Nigeria, there were 3.8 million malware attacks and 16.8 million PUA detections – which is four times as much.

“Kenyan and South African threat landscapes have been more intense. In South Africa, there were almost 10 million malware attacks and a staggering 43 million PUA detections. Kenyan users faced even more malware attacks ,” Parinov said.

The Communication Authority latest data shows during the third quarter for financial year 2019/20 (January-March 2020), 34.6 million cyber threats were detected, representing a slight decline from the previous quarter in which had 37.1 cases.

Cyber threats in Kenya are commonly related to Malware, DDOS/Botnet and Web Application attacks.