Findings from Kaspersky’s research have shown that Nigeria experienced a 32 percent increase in financial/banking trojans in the second quarter of 2021 when compared to the figures for the first quarter this year.
The findings also revealed that the top malware families in South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria are ransomware, financial/banking trojans and crypto-miner malware.
“When comparing Q1 2021 with Q2 2021, Kaspersky saw a 24 percent increase in ransomware in Q2 2021 in South Africa, as well as an increase of 14 percent in crypto-miner malware. In Kenya and Nigeria, Kaspersky saw a large increase in financial/banking trojans in Q2 2021 when compared to the figures for Q1 2021 – a 59% increase in Kenya and a 32% increase in Nigeria,” it noted.
It added that while on a technical level, not much has changed when it comes to cyberattacks, what is different is that the pandemic presents a persistent topic in which the world has a vested interest. So, unlike the Olympics or Valentine’s Day which is limited in terms of a timeline, the pandemic offers a wealth of opportunities for cybercriminals to use malware to attack. Everything from the daily numbers and lockdown restrictions to vaccinations, hackers are leveraging on every aspect of the current situation to compromise systems.
Commenting, David Emm, Principal Security Researcher at Kaspersky, argued that while the bulk of attacks are still speculative and randomly targeting individuals and businesses, there is a shift happening with the increase of APTs and more strategically targeted based attacks. “These use continuous, clandestine, and sophisticated hacking techniques to gain access to a system and remain inside for a prolonged period, with potentially destructive consequences. Because of the time and effort required to perpetrate such an attack, these are often leveled at high-value targets, such as nation-states and large businesses,” added Emm.
The financial services sector has remained a top targeted industry in Africa when it comes to cybercriminal activity and such cyber threats – not surprising when one considers the digital-first approach this sector continues to take, driven by the needs and expectations of its customers.
Financial-based malware and cyberattacks are also becoming more targeted, complicated, and difficult to prevent, and with digital transformation progressing at a rapid rate within such a sector, there is no shortage of attack surfaces for cybercriminals to exploit.