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Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya witness 28m cyber attacks

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With a couple of weeks to the end of 2020, cases of cybercrime have increased, with Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya posting 28 million malware attacks in the first eight months of the year. One hundred and two million potentially unwanted applications (PUAs) were detected during the period.

A multinational cybersecurity and anti-virus provider, Kaspersky, yesterday, said the surge “shows that it is not only the malware that attacks users, but also the ‘grey zone’ programmes that grow in popularity and disturb their experiences, while users might not even know it is there.”

It identified 3.8 million malware attacks and 16.8 million PUA detections in Nigeria, while South Africa recorded almost 10 million malware attacks and a staggering 43 million PUA infractions. Kenyan users faced even more malware attacks with about 14 million tally and 41 million PUA appearances.

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According to the organisation, PUAs refer to programmes that are usually not considered malicious on the surface, but influence user-experience negatively.

For instance, the anti-virus provider observed that adware fills user device with ads prop up aggressive monetising software showing unrequested paid offers and luring unsuspecting online users to download superfluous applications on device, the malicious ones inclusive.

Estimating the short-term adverse effects of landscape activities in African countries, the researchers found that PUAs attack users almost four times higher than the traditional malware. They also travel wider.

A Security Researcher at Kaspersky, Denis Parinov, said: “The reason why ‘grey zone’ software is growing in popularity is that it is harder to notice at first, and if the programme is detected, its creators won’t be considered to be cyber criminals.

The problem with them is that users are not always aware they consented to the installation of such programmes on their devices.”


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