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Threats down but targeted malware schemes rise

by MTHULISI SIBANDA
JOHANNESBURG – THE continent’s leading economies have recorded a decrease of ordinary cyber security threats but experienced a massive increase of targeted malware schemes.

This is according to Kaspersky’s latest research, which reveals Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa are facing a dramatic change in the threat landscape.

While regular, self-propagating malware is decreasing dramatically, as it is no longer effective and cannot fly under security radars, new cybercrime models are projected to grow in the upcoming year.

While comparing the overall number of mass cyber attacks in 2021, security researchers at Kaspersky noticed a 7,5 percent decrease in Nigeria, 12 percent decrease in South Africa and an unprecedented 28,6 percent decrease in Kenya.

This is attributed to the introduction and popularisation of new cybercrime models in the Sub-Saharan region.

Cybercrime tools becoming more targeted along with a long running trend where malware creators rely not on the technical advantage of their technologies over security protection, but on the human factor.

This has stimulated the evolution of phishing schemes in 2021. In particular, the region saw a wave of ‘Anomalous’ spyware attacks.

Maria Garnaeva, Senior Security Researcher at Kaspersky ICS CERT (Industrial Control Systems Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency) team, said the Anomalous spyware attacks had a huge potential for growth in the mentioned countries in 2022.

This is because unlike regular spyware the entry level for attackers who wish to employ this tactic is significantly lower – since instead of paying for their own infrastructure, they abuse and employ the victims’ resources.

“We see that cheaper attack methods have always been on the rise in the region and cybercriminals quickly pick up on new tactics,” Garnaeva said.

“Kaspersky therefore suggests that in the nearest future, these countries should be prepared for such attacks,” the official added.

Garnaeva also reports on a mass-scale and pervasive fake installers campaigns, where fake pirated software sites serve up malware as a service.

The fake installers campaign and botnet has been extremely active in South Africa in 2021 and continues to evolve, yet it is scarcely researched.

– CAJ News

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