The Mobile Malware Scourge Hits SA, Kenya & Nigeria

Internet security provider Kaspersky has blocked more than 206,000 mobile malware attacks across the Middle East, Turkey, and Africa (META) region in just 6-months measured, between January to June 2021. Out of these attacks, a combined 30,000 originated from Nigeria (14,071), Kenya (10,697), and South Africa (5,499), respectively.

Significantly, for the African countries monitored, Nigeria only trails Egypt (19,466) by the number of attacks blocked, pointing to how prevalent mobile threats have become in this highly connected country.

In fact, Kaspersky’s latest research shows that when looking at the top ten countries by share of users attacked by mobile malware Nigeria places eighth (at 11.76%). Even though Kenya and South Africa might not feature as prominently, the mobile malware threat is still a concern, along with the shift to more targeted based attacks these countries are seeing.

“Mobile malware remains a significant threat for corporate and personal users across Africa. These attacks are usually very diverse with hackers leveraging a range of methodologies and technologies to compromise victim’s devices,” says Bethwel Opil, Enterprise Sales Manager at Kaspersky in Africa.

The top three most prevalent malware behaviours that Kaspersky has seen in Kenya and Nigeria are Trojans, Trojan-Downloaders; and Trojan-Droppers.

In South Africa, these are Trojans, Trojan-Proxy; and Trojan-Downloaders.

A Trojan is a type of malware that is often disguised as legitimate software which attackers can use to try and gain access to user systems.

As the name suggests, Trojan-Downloaders download and install new versions of malicious programmes, including Trojans and Adware on victim computers. Meanwhile, Trojan-Droppers usually save a range of files containing malicious programmes to the victim’s drive.

Once installed, a Trojan-Proxy allows an attacker to use the infected device as a proxy to connect to the Internet.

“Trojan-Downloaders and Trojan-Droppers are especially dangerous given their potential to contain significantly damaging payloads,” adds Opil.

Edited by Luis Monzon
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