by SAVIOUS KWINIKA
JOHANNESBURG – AFRICA is the region worst targeted by cyber criminals attacking industrial control systems (ICS).
The continent’s energy sector is most targeted, the Kaspersky ICS survey for the second half of 2022 disclosed.
In the period, Kaspersky security solutions globally blocked 6 percent more malware families on industrial automation systems than in the first half of the year and 147 percent more than in the second half of 2021.
“Overall, 2022 stands out for its abnormal absence of any seasonal changes,” said Kirill Kruglov, senior researcher at Kaspersky ICS CERT.
CERT is a global project run by Kaspersky to coordinate the efforts of industrial automation system vendors and industrial facility owners and operators.
Kruglov said their team observed a steadily high rate of attacks on industrial sectors – without a typical drop in attacks during the European Summer vacations or Winter holidays period.
Africa tops the regional rankings with most ICS computers targeted using removable devices.
The Middle East remains highly targeted by ransomware attacks and is among the top three regions ranked by the percentage of ICS attacked using removable media – USB flash drives or hard drives.
In Turkiye throughout 2022 there was an increase in attacks blocked in multiple industries, including building automation, energy and engineering.
In the second half of 2022, in Africa the percentage of ICS computers on which spyware was blocked by 12 percent, the highest figure for any region of the world.
In terms of other malware categories blocked on ICS in Africa, malicious scripts and deny-listed internet resources top the list with 14 percent and 13,2 percent attacks stopped.
Other categories of malicious objects that were blocked on ICS computers in Africa include worms (7,1 percent), malicious documents (5 percent), viruses (4,8 percent).
In Africa, the most targeted industries in the second half of 2022 were energy (attacks were blocked on 43,6 percent of ICS computers), engineering (41,8 gas), oil and gas (41,2 percent).
– CAJ News