New data from Kasperskynow shows that Kenya’s cyberspace might not be as safe as many think. According to the report, Kenya accounted for one out of every four of the two million online attacks in Africa. This places the country ahead of Nigeria and Egypt as attackers used COVID-19 information to gain illicit access to devices and networks.
Kaspersky goes on to report that in Q2 2020 alone, Kenya had more than half a million phishing attacks. This comes in second place after South Africa that suffered from 616,666 spam and phishing attacks.
Meanwhile, Egypt accounted for 492,532 and Nigeria 299,426. Other East African countries like Ethiopia and Rwanda experienced 31,585 and 68,931 respectively.
“When summarising the results of the first quarter, we assumed that COVID-19 would be the main topic for spammers and phishers for the past few months. And it certainly happened,” says Tatyana Sidorina, a security expert at Kaspersky.
“While there was the rare spam mailing sent out without mentioning the pandemic, phishers adapted their old schemes to make them relevant for the current news agenda, as well as come up with new tricks.”
True to it, the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) had issued a warning about hack attempts that had been made over a couple of months ago. The attackers, according to the DCI, had been sending emails with links used to siphon personal information from anyone that clicked on them.
Kaspersky’s analysis also indicated that hackers and phishers went on a higher gear this year by performing targeted hacks, especially on small companies. A majority of these fraudsters apparently forged emails and websites from organisations whose products or services could be purchased by potential victims.
The Communications Authority of Kenya had also reported that in the most recent quarter 34,644,531 threats were detected. So as much as the flow of information has been increasing in 2020 during the pandemic, it is advisable for users to take precautions and avoid being victims to these online scammers.