Nigeria Tops Africa In Mobile Malware Attacks

The number of mobile malware attacks doubles in 2018 than in 2017 as attackers sharpen their distribution strategies. Users are advised to be vigilant with the usage of their mobile devices which are the primary source of information sharing and communication in the modern day Africa.

Four African countries made it to the top 10 in the list of countries with more users attacked by malware in 2018. Nigeria made it to the top in Africa followed by Algeria according to the report released by Kaspersky Lab.

Kaspersky Lab researchers have seen the number of attacks using malicious mobile software nearly double in just a year. In 2018 there were 116.5 million attacks, compared to 66.4 million in 2017, with a significant increase in unique users being affected. Despite more devices being attacked, the number of malware files has decreased, leading researchers to conclude that the quality of mobile malware has become more impactful and precise. These and other findings are unveiled in Kaspersky Lab’s report Mobile malware evolution 2018.

Mobile phone penetration in Africa is expected to rise to over half a billion in 2020. Among these subscribers will be smartphone users. And with African countries struggling to ensure internet penetration in rural areas, then the usage of internet will be over the roof. For example, recently Rwanda sent a communication satellite to space to boost internet penetration in her Eastern rural areas.

As mobile phone penetration grows in Africa so does the risks. Many use their devices for business and other transactions hence attracting cybercriminals who design new channels to deliver malware especially to users who do not have security features on their devices.

The success of the distribution strategies is demonstrated not only by the increase in attacks, but also the number of unique users that have encountered malware. In 2018 this figure rose by 774,000 on the previous year, to 9,895,774 affected users. Among the threats encountered, the most significant growth was in the use of Trojan-Droppers, whose share almost doubled from 8.63% to 17.21%. This type of malware is designed to bypass system protection and deliver there all sorts of malware, from banking Trojans to ransomware.

“In 2018, mobile device users faced what could have been the fiercest cybercriminal onslaught ever seen. Over the course of the year, we observed both new mobile device infection techniques, such as DNS hijacking (, along with an increased focus on enhanced distribution schemes, like SMS spam. This trend demonstrates the growing need for mobile security solutions to be installed on smartphones – to protect users from device infection attempts, regardless of the source,” Viсtor Chebyshev, security expert at Kaspersky Lab said.

The most affected countries in Africa are Nigeria in 3rd place at 37.72%, Algeria in 5th place (35.06%), Tanzania in 8th place (31.34%) and Kenya in 9th place with 29.72%..

In order for mobile phone users to be safe or protect themselves from cyber criminals, Kaspersky is advising that; users should only download apps from official app stores like Android, Google play and Appstore for iOS. Secondly, users have also been advised to consider blocking all unsolicited installations and avoid bypassing mobile restrictions. One should frequently update their OS when available and use reliable security solutions.

In 2018 Kaspersky Lab products protected 80,638 users in 150 countries against mobile ransomware, with 60,176 mobile ransomware Trojans samples detected.

For 21 years Kaspersky lab has been on the forefront in the promotion of internet security. It has over 400 million users and 270000 clients.

Source APO Group

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