Several countries in Africa have experienced a dramatic increase in phishing attacks. Kaspersky, a leading cybersecurity firm, announced the global growth it achieved by 2022. Based on the company’s recent reports, Kaspersky’s anti-phishing system has prevented over 500 million attempts at accessing fraudulent websites globally in 2022 compared to the 2021 figure, which is twice lesser that the proposed figure.
The spam and phishing in 2022 reports gave detailed information on the global situation with spam and phishing. It was noticed that phishing attacks rely on experienced social engineering methods rather than complex technology, portraying them as dangerous to those who are not aware of them. 8.7% of the people in African countries have been negatively affected by phishing.
Countries like South Africa were on the leading list at 9.7% followed by Kenya at 8.4% and Nigeria at 7%. Cybercriminals will use tactics such as phishing web pages that look like genuine websites to gain access to private users’ information. These fraudsters then use the information to target individuals and organizations for money.
Delivery service providers suffered because of phishing attacks, as they were the most regularly targeted. Fraudsters would send fake emails pretending to be from well-known delivery companies and claiming there was an issue with the delivery. However, the email would include links to a fake website that asks for personal data and financial details.
Experts realized that cybercriminals increasingly turned to phish attacks throughout 2022. South Africa was a key target for online stores and financial services, with 15.4% of attempts coming from fake payment systems websites, 68.4% from fake online stores, and 16.2% from fake online bank portals. In Kenya, the figures were 22.5%, 54.9%, and 22.6% respectively, and in Nigeria, they were 31.1%, 51.2%, and 17.8% respectively.
Kaspersky’s experts also report a common global trend in the phishing landscape of 2022, where many attacks were spread through messengers, with most blocked attempts coming from WhatsApp, followed by Telegram and Viber. Cybercriminals are all using people’s desire for personal space and privacy by offering fake updates and verified account statuses on social media platforms.
Experts advise individuals to avoid becoming a victim of spam or phishing-based scams by only clicking links or opening emails from known senders. If a sender is legitimate, but the message content looks weird, it is advisable to go through the contents via other alternative communication channels. Pros have advised that the spelling of the website URL can spot phishing pages.
The tremendous increase in phishing attacks is now seen as a threat to both individuals and firms. Therefore, protecting oneself should become a priority to avoid being a victim of phishing-based scams.
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