Malware attacks in Africa are increasing, reaching 85 million in 6 months – Kaspersky

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Malware is rife across Africa, with various countries exhibiting strong growth in all malware types in the first half of 2021. This is a 5% increase in the region, as cybercriminals and hackers continue to focus on African countries considering digital transformation advancements and the increase in remote working resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, cyber security company Kaspersky has said.

Overall, four countries account for 85 million attacks, with South Africa being the most targeted (32 million attacks), followed by Kenya (28.3 million), Nigeria (16.7 million) and Ethiopia (8 million). All countries but Kenya saw the relative growth of all malware attacks. Ethiopia and Nigeria have seen an increase of 20% and 23% respectively and South Africa an increase of 14%, while Kenya’s number of attacks decreased by 13%, Kaspersky data showed.

“Even though the scourge of malware has always been of concern, the past 12-months have highlighted how hackers are refocusing their efforts to compromise consumer and corporate systems and gain access to critical data and information. Given the growth of digital transformation across Africa since last year, the continent has become an attractive target for those looking to exploit a lack of user education and cybersecurity understanding. This has contributed to the large number of personal devices still not having any form of cybersecurity software installed,” said Bethwel Opil, Enterprise Sales Manager at Kaspersky in Africa.



“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. This means proactive malware protection is essential to safeguard individual users and corporates against these threats,” added Opil.