from DION HENRICK in Cape Town, South Africa
CAPE TOWN, (CAJ News) – CONSUMERS must remain vigilant in their online activities following revelations of a surge in cyber attacks in Africa’s biggest economies.
Research by Kasperky indicates stalkerware affected one out of every 100 mobile users in Kenya and Nigeria in 2020.
Malware affects every four out of 100 in South Africa.
“Even though these numbers might seem low, especially when it comes to stalkerware, it bears mentioning that this form of attack is focused on specific individuals,” said Lehan van den Heever, Enterprise Cyber Security Advisor for Kaspersky in Africa.
“So, unlike general malware that is distributed on a massive scale, stalkerware is a more personal crime that has life and death consequences for the individual affected, for example a perpetrator can track down their estranged partner with ill intentions, or human trafficking rings targeting children.”
Stalkerware can enable the perpetrator to track a victim’s location, read their messages, view their photos and videos, eavesdrop on telephone conversations, and see everything typed on the keypad.
Kasperky research shows that almost 54 000 users globally were affected by stalkerware apps in 2020.
Kaspersky’s analysis of mobile threats shows that in Kenya, 7 perce of users were affected by malware, and 13 percent by adware.
In Nigeria, 7 percent of users were impacted by malware and 17 percent by adware.
In South Africa, 4 percent of users were targeted with malware and 7 percent with adware.
“The fact that these are growing momentum in Africa should be cause for concern,” van den Heever said.
“And even though South Africa has not been affected by these attacks yet, it is only a matter of time before mobile users in the country start experiencing the dangers of stalkerware,” he added.
– CAJ News