8.7% people in Africa suffer phishing in 2022

By Clement Alphonsus
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Kaspersky, cybersecurity solution provider, has disclosed that its anti-phishing system prevented more than 500 million attempts at accessing fraudulent websites globally in 2022 and it is twice more compared to the 2021 figures.

Kaspersky said in Africa, 8.7 per cent of individuals and corporate users were affected by phishing, saying attacks on their devices were detected and stopped.

It noted that though spam and phishing attacks are not necessarily complex from a technological standpoint, they rely on sophisticated social engineering tactics, making them highly dangerous to those who are not aware of them.

Kaspersky experts discovered that throughout 2022 cybercriminals increasingly turned to phishing. The company’s anti-phishing system successfully blocked 507,851,735 attempts to access fraudulent content globally in 2022, twice the number of attacks thwarted in 2021.

It further revealed that the sphere most frequently targeted with phishing attacks was delivery services. Fraudsters send fake emails pretending to be from well-known delivery companies and claim there is an issue with a delivery. The email includes a link to a fake website, which asks for personal information or financial details. If the victim falls for the scam, they could lose their identity and banking information, which may be sold to websites on the dark web.

With financial phishing, the most commonly targeted categories were online stores and online financial services. Among the financial phishing attempts in South Africa 15.4 per cent were through websites of fake payment systems, 68.4 per cent through fake online stores and 16.2 per cent through fake online bank portals. Among the financial phishing attempts in Kenya 22.5 per cent were through websites of fake payment systems, 54.9 per cent through fake online stores and 22.6 per cent through fake online bank portals. And among the financial phishing attempts in Nigeria 31.1 per cent were through websites of fake payment systems, 51.2 per cent through fake online stores and 17.8 per cent through fake online bank portals.

Moreover, the experts found that cryptocurrency scams and market events, like the pandemic, are still being used by phishing attackers to steal sensitive information from people who are afraid and worried. These scammers are taking advantage of people’s fears and concerns to steal their sensitive information.

Security Expert at Kaspersky, Olga Svistunova, said: “Phishing is one of the most prevalent and pernicious threats in the cybersecurity landscape. Being the gateway to many of the worst cyber threats, phishing pages are the first step in a long chain of events that can result in identity theft, financial loss, and reputational damage for both individual consumers and businesses. It’s crucial for everyone to understand the threat and take action to protect themselves.”

In order to avoid becoming a victim of spam or phishing-based scams, Kaspersky experts advise the following: “Only open emails and click links if you are sure you can trust the sender.

“When a sender is legitimate, but the content of the message seems strange, it is worth checking with the sender via an alternative communication channel.

“Check the spelling of a website’s URL if you suspect that you are faced with a phishing page. If you are, the URL may contain mistakes that are hard to spot at first glance, such as a 1 instead of I or 0 instead of O.

“Use a proven security solution (https://apo-opa.info/3EQxD1D) when surfing the web. Thanks to access to international threat intelligence sources, these solutions are capable of spotting and blocking spam and phishing campaigns.”

Zoom president contract terminated without cause
Video conferencing platform, Zoom, has terminated its president contract, Greg Tomb, who is a former Google executive.

Mr Tomb’s contract was abruptly terminated “without cause,” according to the company in a regulatory filing.

A spokesperson for Zoom said the tech firm isn’t looking for a replacement.

Mr Tomb reported directly to chief executive officer Eric Yuan, who started Zoom in 2011 and was at the helm as the company became one of the pandemic’s biggest winners, The BBC reported.

At the time of Mr Tomb’s appointment, Mr Yuan said he was excited about the strength he was adding to the leadership team: “Greg is a highly respected technology industry leader and has deep experience in helping to scale companies at critical junctures.”

Mr Tomb said he was thrilled to join the team and help “drive growth” as businesses around the world addressed their communications needs.

But it has been a difficult picture for the company, which has struggled to maintain its pandemic boom and – like many others in the tech sector – it has been forced to lay off staff.

Despite Zoom tripling its head count in two years during the pandemic, in February the company cut 15% of its staff – 1,300 people – to deal with waning demand.

“We didn’t take as much time as we should have to thoroughly analyse our teams or assess if we were growing sustainably, toward the highest priorities,” Mr Yuan said.

As companies look to cut costs in the face of an economic downturn, Zoom could be left behind in favour of rival services such as Google Meet, Microsoft Teams and Slack.