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Nigeria tops in Africa mobile adware attacks

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By Abiodun Okunloye

Adware mobile malware was responsible for 62.65 percent of all attacks on users.

A warning has been issued by the cybersecurity company Kaspersky, which states that its security researchers have notified reports of attacks on major banks in sub-Saharan Africa. Threats to mobile devices are on the rise around the world, according to a statement released by Kaspersky on Thursday, which cited the company’s research on the state of mobile cyber threats in the second quarter of 2023. The company reported a 5% increase in mobile threats in Q2 2023, with the majority of these threats targeting Android devices and being blocked by Kaspersky in the Middle East, Turkiye, and Africa (META) region.

According to research conducted by Kaspersky, during the period under consideration, adware mobile malware was responsible for 62.65 percent of all attacks on users. Software known as “adware” causes intrusive adverts to appear on a user’s computer or mobile device. The fact that such an increase was recorded is cause for concern, in line with the statement, because mobile devices are so prevalent in Africa. It has been found that adware and mobile banking threats are two of the most common types of mobile threats in Africa.

There was a substantial rise in mobile banking virus detection in Q2 2023.

It was also revealed that significant adware detections were made during the second quarter of 2023, and Nigeria topped the list of countries that were exposed to the risk. The report indicated that there was an increase of 94% in Nigeria, 39% in Kenya, and 27% in South Africa. The firm also noted that there was a substantial rise in the detection of mobile banking trojans in the second quarter of 2023. Mobile banking trojans are used to target data regarding online banking and e-payment systems.

Bethwel Opil, enterprise client lead at Kaspersky in Africa, offered some comments on the report, stating that action needs to be taken in response to the cyber threats. In light of the rapid growth of smartphone usage and the increasing popularity of mobile banking across the continent, Opil argues that it is crucial to address the region’s prevalent cybersecurity threats. Their findings show that cybercriminals are taking advantage of the region because of its technologically advanced population and ever-changing digital landscape.

Cybercriminals are always developing new malware and exploits.

As a result, both consumers and businesses need to take preventative measures to ensure their mobile devices are secure. Cybercriminals are always developing new malware and exploits, such as banking malware that steals financial data or ransomware that locks up users’ data. An additional target of cybercriminals, especially in Africa, is outdated software. There are a lot of people in Africa who use older or lessened mobile devices that might not have the most up-to-date security software, leaving them open to mobile attacks.

In this context, it’s not enough to simply implement cybersecurity solutions on mobile devices; rather, it’s also important to educate users on best practices and the ever-evolving threat landscape. In their statement, the cybersecurity company also provided advice on how to lessen mobile security risks to customers. Opil advised only downloading apps from trusted sources, such as the Apple AppStore or Google Play and maintaining a consistent schedule of updates for software. He emphasised the importance of being aware of app permissions, including access to the camera, microphone, photos, and contacts, among other things.

Users should leverage the power of mobile technology safely.

Lastly, it is recommended to make use of a trusted mobile security app like Kaspersky Premium. To get automatic security updates, avoid jailbreaking or rooting devices. The deployment of security software alone is insufficient to ensure the safety of mobile devices. It necessitates a comprehensive approach integrating education for end users, technological advancement, and industry cooperation. Opil added that the company is dedicated to improving the mobile cybersecurity landscape in Africa, with the goal of ensuring that users are able to leverage the power of mobile technology safely and confidently.

Related Link

Kaspersky: Website

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