Connecting Africa is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 3099067.

Enterprise

Mobile Malware Attacks on the Rise in SA

Article Image
South Africa saw a 6% rise in mobile malware attacks in the first quarter of 2019 while malware attacks, in general, were up 22% compared to the same quarter last year.

This according to Riaan Badenhorst, general manager of Kaspersky in Africa, who was sharing the company's research statistics with Connecting Africa.

Badenhorst said that Kaspersky research showed over 21 million malware attacks in Q1 2019 in South Africa and over 53,800 mobile malware attacks in the same period. There were also 970,557 phishing attacks in the first quarter in SA, which is an average of 10.8 per day.

"As the world becomes more mobile, the role of smartphones in business processes and day to day life is growing rapidly. In response to this, cybercriminals are paying more attention to how they are distributing malware and the attack vectors they make use of. Mobile is one such channel that is proving effective and therefore we have seen an increase in these attacks," Badenhorst explained.

"The channels through which malware is delivered to users and infects their devices is a key part of the success of a malicious campaign today, taking advantage of those users who do not have any security solutions installed on their mobile phones. Particularly, we are seeing an increase in malware designed to bypass system protection and deliver all sorts of malware, from banking Trojans to ransomware," he added.

In the broader Middle East, Africa and Turkey (META) region Kaspersky reported more than 150 million malware attacks in Q1 alone, representing an average of 1.6 million attacks per day, and a huge 108% increase over the same quarter in 2018.

"With some of the highest mobile phone penetration rates in the world, it is no surprise that the META region also attracts a significant share of malware attacks targeted at mobiles. Mobile malware attacks in META in Q1 2019 numbered more than 368,000, an average of 4,098 per day, and a spike of 118% when compared to Q1 2018," Badenhorst said.

Kaspersky found that in the META region, there were 5.83 million phishing attacks over the three month period, which worked out to a daily average of 64,000 and a 334% increase year-on-year.

There were also 3.16m attacks associated with crypto-mining malware in the region in the period, a 146% increase year-on-year, while ransomware attacks came in at 193,000 for the period, which was an 18% decrease compared to a year ago.

Riaan Badenhorst, general manager of Kaspersky in Africa.
Riaan Badenhorst, general manager of Kaspersky in Africa.

In terms of phishing attacks, Badenhorst said that human error plays a large role.

"In 2017, Kaspersky reported that 59% of South African companies attributed weaknesses in their IT security strategy to the careless actions of employees. And if we consider that phishing attacks more than doubled in 2018 to reach almost 500 million, according to Kaspersky research, then I believe it is fair to say that human error will likely remain a key threat in opening companies up to such attacks. In fact, the human factor played a major role in making businesses worldwide vulnerable to the recent WannaCry ransomware epidemic."

When asked about cybersecurity in the African market in general Badenhorst said that as the digital world grows and continues to innovate, he expects to see more sophisticated antics by cybercriminals.

"We expect to see more attacks on supply chains and in the financial services industry, as well as more cyber-espionage attacks -- which can cause massive damage to business and nation-states," he said. "We also expect to see more direct attacks on users and cloud services as the cloud continues to evolve. And, of course, as the Internet of Things (IoT) becomes even more mainstream, we can expect cybercriminals to continue to focus on IoT related attacks.

"Africa is not immune to any type of cyber threat. Cybercriminals will and do target anyone and any region where they can gain and so businesses operating in Africa must be proactively prepared, to ensure protection against such cyber-related threats," Badenhorst concluded.

— Paula Gilbert, Editor, Connecting Africa

Innovation hub

Video

Interview: Qualcomm execs on mentorship for African startups

Qualcomm Technology VP for Engineering, Sudeepto Roy, and Elizabeth Migwalla, VP for Government Affairs, join Connecting Africa for a video interview about Qualcomm's Make in Africa Mentorship Program.

Story

Hot startup of the month: Pan-African fintech KamaPay

This month's hot startup is pan-African fintech KamaPay, which helps individuals and businesses make cross-border payments on the continent.

More Innovation hub

Latest video

More videos

Sponsored video

More videos

Industry announcements

More Industry announcements

Flash poll

All polls

Africa Tech Perspectives

Story

Deep dive into East Africa's tech startup ecosystem

New survey reveals a lack of access to investors, reliance on international VCs and global recession trends as the biggest barriers for East African tech startups to access funds.

Story

Challenges and opportunities for women's tech careers

A new survey reveals that COVID-19, the cost-of-living crisis, skills shortages and a lack of mentorship have negatively affected women's career development over the past two years.

Story

Survey: Opportunities for Women in Tech

Take our new survey for women across Asia, Europe and Africa looking at the biggest challenges and opportunities for women-led enterprises and trends in tech careers for women.

More AfricaCom perspectives

Upcoming events

London Tech Week
June 13-16, 2023
Queen Elizabeth II Centre, Broad Sanctuary, London SW1P 3EE
Cybertech Africa 2023
August 1-2, 2023
Kigali Convention Center, Kigali, Rwanda
Africa Tech Festival, Home of AfricaCom and AfricaTech
November 13-16, 2023
CTICC, Cape Town
More Upcoming events

Guest Perspectives

Story

Omdia View: February 2023

By Omdia Analysts

In February 2023 key events in the Middle East and Africa included a major Internet project for Africa's underserved by Liquid Intelligent Technologies and Microsoft as well as a 5G launch in Tanzania – that and more in this month's Omdia View.

Story

Omdia View: July 2022

By Omdia Analysts

Kenya and Zambia move towards 5G with new spectrum allocations while Tunisie Telecom plans to shut down its 3G network - that and more in this month's Omdia View.

More Guest Perspectives

Partner perspectives

All Partner Perspectives

Like us on Facebook

Newsletter Sign Up


Sign Up