Out of about 206,000 mobile malware attacks blocked by Kaspersky Solutions in the first 6 months of 2021, about 14,071 came from Nigeria.
A malware is “any software intentionally designed to cause damage to a computer, server, client, or computer network.”
For African countries, Nigeria trails Egypt which is responsible for 19,466 malware attacks. Behind Nigeria are Kenya and South Africa, from which 10,697 and 5,499 attacks originated, respectively.
According to the research by Kaspersky, a cybersecurity company, Nigeria ranks eighth among the top 10 countries by share of users attacked by mobile malware.
Kaspersky Solutions for the Middle East, Turkey and Africa (META) region measured the attacks between January to June 2021.
The three most prevalent malware behaviours that Kaspersky has seen in Kenya and Nigeria are Trojans, Trojan-Downloaders; and Trojan-Droppers, while South-Africa’s most popular malware behaviours are Trojans, Trojan-Proxy; and Trojan-Downloaders.
A Trojan is a type of malware often disguised as legitimate software which attackers can use to try and gain access to user systems.
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Trojan-Downloaders, however, download and install new versions of malicious programmes, including Trojans and Adware onto victim computers.
Meanwhile, Trojan-Droppers save a range of files containing malicious programmes onto the victim’s drive. Finally, a Trojan-Proxy, once installed, allows an attacker to use the infected device as a proxy to connect to the Internet.
Enterprise Sales Manager at Kaspersky in Africa, Bethwel Opil, said mobile malware is a significant threat for corporate and personal users across Africa.
“These attacks are usually very diverse with hackers leveraging a range of methodologies and technologies to compromise victims’ devices. Trojan-Downloaders and Trojan-Droppers are especially dangerous given their potential to contain significantly damaging payloads,” he said.
The mobile security firm also recommended a few ways users can enhance their cybersecurity.
It cautioned users against trusting SMS, explaining that mobile malware uses text messages, thus users should never respond to requests for debit card details or any form of private information.
It also warned that users should check their browser for the lock icon in the address bar as that indicates that the site is secure.
“Install apps from reputable sources. Popular shopping sites such as Amazon or eBay have their own mobile applications. You must check to see they are the official apps from the company before you initiate a download. This can be done by checking the developer information and user ratings on the download page,” the firm said.