CAJ News Agency (Johannesburg)

Kenya: Firms Battle Cyber Crime

Nairobi — THERE is an upsurge in the number of companies falling victims to cyber crime in Kenya with 91 per cent of organizations suffering such attacks at least once in the past 12 months.

This is according to a survey conducted by Kaspersky Lab and B2B International.

The survey further revealed that 9 per cent of the same companies were victims of planned activity aimed at infecting the network infrastructure of a specific organization.

The survey associated the increased cyber attacks to the extensive use of digital device especially in business.

“The extensive use of digital devices in business has created ideal conditions for cyber-espionage and the deployment of malware capable of stealing corporate data.

"The potential is so great that malicious programmes may soon completely replace company insiders as the way of gathering information,” stated an extract from the report.

The survey indicated that the year 2013 saw a major disclosure about spyware-led attacks that were related, directly or indirectly, to the activities of various government agencies.

It was established that other significant actors on the corporate cyber threat scene included businesses that turned to cybercriminals to penetrate their competitors' networks.

The main corporate findings of the survey included the identification of spyware-led attacks that related to various governments.

The survey also established that most cybercriminal incidents were aimed at stealing information.

Lastly, the survey identified a new actor on the ATP stage: cyber-mercenaries conducting cyber-espionage on demand.

The survey revealed that outsourced cybercriminal forces performed operations that aimed at stealing information.

Sabotage by way of using malicious programmes to wipe data or block infrastructure operations was also listed among the operations of the cybercriminals.

“Some special Trojan programs were capable of stealing money via online banking systems. Cybercriminals could also compromise corporate sites and redirect visitors to malicious resources, damaging a company's reputation,” stated the survey.

It was revealed that cybercriminals were continuously improving their malware by use of unconventional approaches and solutions from encryptors and shredders.

“Mass distribution of malicious programmes can affect any company, even a small commercial organization, resulting in the loss of money and intellectual property.

"Cybercriminals are continuously improving their malware, using unconventional approaches and solutions, from so-called encryptors and shredders that spread like the plague in a corporate environment, to an army of zombies that devours every available resource on web servers and data transfer networks.

"In 2013 we also fixed the first case of targeting supply chains - not being able to reach big organizations, cybercriminals get their ‘weak point', compromising contractors, as in the Icefog attacks,” said Vitaly Kamluk, Principal Security Researcher of Kaspersky Lab's Global Research and Analysis Team.

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