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Attacks via Microsoft Office forecast to increase

JOHANNESBURG – THE number attacks via Microsoft Office vulnerabilities in Africa are projected to increase.

This as cyber criminals increasingly craft malicious documents and convince victims to open them through social engineering techniques.

The leading economies – Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa- are again among the targets of these cyber crooks.

Kaspersky, the global cyber security and digital privacy company, established that in the second quarter of 2022, the number of exploits for vulnerabilities in the Microsoft Office suite increased globally compared to the first quarter, accounting for 82 percent of the total number of exploits across different platforms.

The latest Kaspersky quarterly malware report also states the Middle East, Turkey and Africa (META) region also saw an increase in the attacks via MS Office vulnerabilities.

MS Office vulnerabilities, CVE-2021-40444, CVE-2017-0199, CVE-2017-11882 and CVE-2018-0802, were used by criminals most often during the second quarter, being exploited to attack more than 551 000 users in total.

In Kenya, the number of users attacked through these vulnerabilities in the Microsoft Office suite over the last quarter increased by 20 percent.

Nigeria saw a 9 percent increase and South Africa 3 percent.

The increases are comparable to the first quarter.

“Since CVE-2021-40444 is quite easy to use, we expect an increase in its exploitation globally,” said Alexander Kolesnikov, malware analyst at Kaspersky.

Among other solutions, the expert urged clients to install the vendor’s patch, use security solutions capable of detecting vulnerability exploitation and to keep employees aware of modern cyber threats.

– CAJ News

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