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Malware attacks are on the increase in Africa

The Newsletter has often stressed the need for greater vigilance against cybercrime. A new report from Kaspersky shows that over the last 18 months cybercriminals have taken advantage of digital transformation advancements and an increase in remote working to launch their assaults. Kaspersky recorded 85 million in the first half of 2021, representing a 5% increase in the continent over the past year. South Africa is the most targeted (32 million attacks), followed by Kenya (28,3 million attacks); more than 16,7 million attacks have been recorded in Nigeria; Ethiopia had 8 million cases. All countries except Kenya saw the relative growth of all malware attacks, with Ethiopia and Nigeria seeing an increase of 20% and 23% respectively, and SA an increase of 14%. Malware is any software intentionally designed to cause damage to a computer, server, client, or computer network. Malware can get onto a device in several ways, for example, clicking on an infected link or advert, opening an attachment in a spam email, or downloading a compromised app.

Kaspersky has also reported that South Africa ranks third in the world for the highest number of users experiencing targeted ransomware attacks. There was a 767% increase in targeted ransomware from 2019 to 2020, while general ransomware attacks decreased by 29%.

Together with Wolfpack EFSA will be doing a “fireside chat” on cyber security and the recent SA Cybersecurity Act in mid-November. We’ll be sending out details. Our fireside chats are available on our website. So far they have concentrated on POPIA (see our website home page – https://ecomafrica.org/)

Meanwhile, in its Global Cybersecurity Index 2020, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) identified only 29 African countries with data protection legislation; 23 have a national cybersecurity strategy; 19 have a Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT). Only 31 have legislation on network hacking; 17 have legislation on online harassment; only 6 have a cybersecurity skills development mechanism; 12 have bilateral cybersecurity agreements versus 19 for multilateral agreements; 29 are engaged in international cybersecurity activities. Only 15 African countries have a level of cybersecurity preparedness above the global average. Mauritius remains the leader on the continent since 2014, ahead of Egypt, and Tanzania, which was 8th in 2018 and is now 3rd. SA also scores well.

Dikonketso

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