Kenya Among Countries Most Prone to Cyber Attacks, Kaspersky Report Shows

26 September 2020

Kenya among countries that faced more malware attacks in the continent so far this, and remains among the most affected by cyber attacks, according to research from Kaspersky.

The multinational cyber security and anti-virus provider has reported 28 million cyber attacks and 102 million detections of potentially unwanted applications (PUA) - such as pornware and adware - in sub-Saharan Africa so far this year.

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.

South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria have seen millions of cyber attacks in 2020.

GREY ZONE PROGRAMS

"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," Denis Parinov, a security researcher at Kaspersky, said.

"These numbers show that it's 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," he added.

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.

MALWARE ATTACKS

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.

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

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 - around 14 million, and 41 million PUA appearances.

Evaluating results over the same 7-month period in Nigeria, there were 3.8 million malware attacks and 16.8 million PUA detections - which is four times as much.

CYBER THREAT

The Communication Authority of Kenya's latest data shows that 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.

Kenya has been seeing increased cybercrime activity with the latest data from the Authority showing that in the most recent quarter 34,644,531cyber threats were detected.

Further, 17,844 advisories were issued by the National KE-CIRT which was an increase from the 16,654 issued in the previous quarter.

Working from home and increased flow of information during the pandemic has opened more avenues for cybercriminals.

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

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