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Kaspersky blocks more than 30,000 mobile malware attacks in Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa

Kaspersky blocks more than 30,000 mobile malware attacks in Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa

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Kaspersky is a global cybersecurity and digital privacy company founded in 1997. Kaspersky’s deep threat intelligence and security expertise is constantly transforming into innovative security solutions and services to protect businesses, critical infrastructure, governments and consumers around the globe. Recently, the cybersecurity vendor revealed that it had blocked more than 30,000 mobile malware attacks in Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa.

Out of the more than 206,000 mobile malware attacks blocked by Kaspersky solutions in the Middle East, Turkey and Africa (META) region in just six months measured, between January to June 2021, over 30, 000 of these attacks combined originated from Nigeria (14,071), Kenya (10,697), and South Africa (5,499).

Significantly, for African countries monitored, Nigeria only trails Egypt (19,466) by the number of attacks blocked, pointing to how prevalent mobile threats have become in this highly connected country. In fact, Kaspersky’s latest research shows that when looking at the top ten countries by share of users attacked by mobile malware Nigeria places eighth (at 11.76%). Even though Kenya and South Africa might not feature as prominently, the mobile malware threat is still a concern, along with the shift to more targeted based attacks these countries are seeing.

The top three most prevalent malware behaviours that Kaspersky has seen in Kenya and Nigeria are Trojans, Trojan-Downloaders; and Trojan-Droppers. In South Africa, these are Trojans, Trojan-Proxy; and Trojan-Downloaders.

A Trojan is a type of malware that is often disguised as legitimate software which attackers can use to try and gain access to user systems. As the name suggests, Trojan-downloaders download and install new versions of malicious programmes, including Trojans and Adware on victim computers. Meanwhile, Trojan-droppers usually save a range of files containing malicious programmes to the victim’s drive. Once installed, a Trojan-Proxy allows an attacker to use the infected device as a proxy to connect to the Internet.

“Mobile malware remains a significant threat for corporate and personal users across Africa. These attacks are usually very diverse with hackers leveraging a range of methodologies and technologies to compromise victim’s devices. Trojan-downloaders and Trojan-droppers are especially dangerous given their potential to contain significantly damaging payloads,” said Bethwel Opil, Enterprise Sales Manager, Kaspersky in Africa.

In addition to installing cybersecurity solutions on their mobile devices, like Kaspersky Total Security, here are a few additional ways users can enhance their security:

  • Create a strong password. By putting a strong password on their smartphone, the device can become unusable if it is lost or stolen and the password attempt fails a certain number of times
  • Do not trust SMS. Mobile malware uses text messages, so users should never respond to requests for credit card details or other private information
  • Check your browser for the lock symbol. The lock icon in the address bar indicates that the sight is secure when entering personal data
  • Install apps from reputable sources. Popular shopping sites such as Amazon or eBay have their own mobile applications. You must check to see they are the official apps from the company before you initiate a download. This can be done by checking the developer information and user ratings on the download page

Android’s own security has changed dramatically since the first devices were released with Android 1.6 Donut when it became the most dominant OS on the market. The development of Google Play Protect is worth highlighting and the rights of apps have since been severely restricted, as now they have to request all permissions from users explicitly. Moreover, the security subsystem was moved to a separate updatable component, independent of the device manufacturer. Yet there is one thing both the old 1.6 version and the latest Android 11 have in common which significantly compromises the operating system’s security: the freedom to install apps from third-party sources. It’s great in terms of OS user-friendliness, but it gives all sorts of cybercriminals a real “window of opportunity” from a security point of view. It’s also the reason why third-party distribution platforms for Android apps have mushroomed.

Kaspersky’s comprehensive security portfolio includes endpoint protection and a number of specialised security solutions and services to fight sophisticated and evolving digital threats. Over 400 million users are protected by Kaspersky technologies and the vendor helps 240,000 corporate clients protect what matters most to their organisation.

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