by AKANI CHAUKE
JOHANNESBURG – THE numbers of browser extension threats have risen dramatically in under a year in the continent’s biggest economies.
In Nigeria, the increase has been seven times. It has been threefold in South Africa and over half in Kenya.
Kaspersky, the cyber security company, disclosed that researchers had analysed what risks innocent-looking browser extensions posed to users and the activities of cyber criminals hiding threats under add-ons.
In the first half of 2022, more than 24 000 South African users were affected by threats, hiding in browser extensions, at least once.
This is three times more than the number of users affected by the same threat throughout the whole of 2021 – with still another half of the year to go.
Kaspersky also recorded an increase in such threats in Kenya and Nigeria.
In Kenya, 14 800 users encountered browser extension threats – a 59 percent increase when compared to 2021, and in Nigeria, 4 200 users were affected – seven times more than the number of users affected in 2021.
The most prominent threat spread under the guise of browser extensions has been adware – unwanted software designed to throw advertisements up on the screen.
From January 2020 to June 2022, Kaspersky experts observed that 38 900 unique users in South Africa, 29 000 in Kenya and 10 000 in Nigeria faced adware hiding in browser extensions.
This is approximately 89 percent, 80 percent and 78 percent respectively.
Since the beginning of 2020, Kaspersky revealed its products had prevented approximately 6 million users globally from downloading threats disguised as browser extensions.
– CAJ News