cyber attacks

Kenyans faced an increasingly hostile online working environment as the number of cyberattacks shot up significantly in the last year, new official data shows.

Data by the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) now shows that more than 56 million cyber threats were detected in the country nationwide in the last three months which is a huge spike from the 37.1 million detected in 2019.

This means that Cyber attacks on Kenyan organizations rose by nearly 50pc in the last three months of 2020 compared to a similar period in 2019.

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“A majority of the threats were malware attacks at 46 million, followed by web application attacks at 7.8 million while 2.2 million Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) threats were detected during the same period,” the CA said in a statement.

“While cyber threats are not new, and pose great risks to society, the economy, and to our children, the Covid-19 pandemic has simply exacerbated the magnitude of this challenge,” said Acting CA Director General Mercy Wanjau.

“Throughout this Covid-19 crisis, cybercriminals have unleashed all manner of attacks, including fraud, phishing, extortion and increased ransomware that have compromised critical ICT systems.”

“In partnership with DCI (Directorate of Criminal Investigations) and other enforcement agencies, we have had some success… so far, we have many convictions. We will take it to the rightful end,” she said.

This comes after experts at global cybersecurity firm–Kaspersky predicted growing economic turbulence along with the impact of Covid-19 to contribute to an increase in cybercrime across Africa.

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“And thanks to the increased connectedness of people, the rise in unemployment will not only see a spike in traditional crime, but this will also extend to the digital environment – something we are already seeing,” Lehan van den Heever, Enterprise Cyber Security Advisor for Kaspersky in Africa, had stated.

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