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‘Malicious URLs threatening Nigerian, Kenyan internet users hit 6.5m in Q2 2021’



Global cybersecurity and digital privacy company, Kaspersky has disclosed that the number of unique malicious Uniform Resource Locator (URL) it detected in Nigeria and Kenya increased to 6.5 million in the Second Quarter (Q2 2021) from the 5.2 million witnessed in the First Quarter (Q1 2021).

According to a new report released on Wednesday (today) by the cybersecurity giant, although there was an increase of unique malicious URLs in the countries, the number of web threats it blocked in Nigeria and Kenya combined for Q2 2021 decreased to 14.9 million from the 16.4 million it blocked in Q1 2021.

Analysis from the firm obtained by Ripples Nigeria showed that globally, its solutions blocked close to 1.7 billion web threats in the period under review, an increase of 87%, compared to the same period in 2020.

Furthermore, the company stated that globally, its web antivirus solution recognised more than 675 million unique URLs as malicious, a significant jump from the 286 million recorded in the same period in 2020.

Speaking on the report, Enterprise Sales Manager at Kaspersky in Africa, Bethwel Opil, said, “The IT threat landscape is evolving as more sophisticated technology becomes available.

“The increase of malicious URLs in Kenya and Nigeria also indicates how phishing and related malware have grown in popularity by threat actors in these regions, who are targeting people working outside of the relative safety of the office network.”

Meanwhile, web threats are a category of cybersecurity risks that may cause an undesirable event or action via the Internet.

READ ALSO: Laptop with world’s most dangerous malware sells for $1.35m

A broad scope of dangers fits into this category, including well-known threats like phishing and computer viruses. However, other threats, like offline data theft, can also be considered part of this group. Web threats are not limited to online activity but ultimately involve the Internet at some stage for inflicted harm.

Analysis by Kaspersky showed that more than 30 million web threats were seen across South Africa, Kenya, and Nigeria combined between April and June 2021.

Kenya accounted for 8,485,345 web threats blocked by Kaspersky while Nigeria accounted for 6,506,385 web threats.

Significantly, financial threats have become a global cause for concern with Kaspersky solutions blocking the launch of at least one piece of banking malware on the computers of 119,252 unique users.

Although Nigeria accounted for only 0.4% and Kenya 0.3% of the global risk when it comes to these financial threats, experts at Kaspersky said local users must be mindful of how increasingly targeted these attacks have become.

They noted that hackers are using social engineering and other tactics to develop more personalised attacks against executives and government leaders.

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