Major spike in SA cyber attacks, over 10 000 attempts a day - security company

Malware attacks in South Africa increased by 22% in the first quarter of 2019 compared to the first quarter of 2018, according to global cyber security company Kaspersky Lab.

This translates into about 13 842 attempted cyber attacks in SA per day, Amin Hasbini, head of global research and analysis for Kaspersky in the Middle East, Turkey and Africa, said during an information session in Cape Town on Monday.

That means there are just under 577 attempted attacks per hour, or over 9 per second.

Furthermore, Android mobile phones in SA are the second most targeted in the world in terms of banking malware. Russia faces the most.

Hasbini said one of the big trends in Africa last year was, for instance, an increased focus in attempted cyber attacks on industrial control systems.

This involves cyber attacks on critical infrastructure systems like nuclear facilities, dam control facilities, electricity facilities and water treatment facilities, for example.

"In many countries – especially in Africa - we see a lack of awareness of this threat to critical infrastructure. Many of these facilities are not aware that they are exposed to cyber risk and can be controlled if hacked," said Hasbini.

"They also do not know their systems need maintenance and must be upgraded."

A global survey conducted by Kasperksy for 2018 indicated that cyber incidents are becoming bigger and more difficult to stop.

"A lot of organisations are facing malware attacks and a lot of these are caused by employees making inappropriate use of company property – including on mobile devices. Mobile is becoming a major problem," said Hasbini.

According to Sergey Novikov, deputy director of global research and analysis at Kasperky, in the first quarter of 2019 almost half of Kaspersky users faced some sort of cyber threat.

Kaspersky estimates that in the first quarter of the year there has been about 8% more malware detected than in the first quarter of 2018.

Hasbini added that mobile malware increased even more than computer malware - by over 17% during the period.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
ZAR/USD
15.02
(-0.27)
ZAR/GBP
20.94
(+0.38)
ZAR/EUR
18.27
(-0.09)
ZAR/AUD
11.77
(+0.35)
ZAR/JPY
0.14
(-0.30)
Gold
1762.72
(-0.43)
Silver
26.86
(-2.23)
Platinum
1209.52
(-0.51)
Brent Crude
66.03
(-0.11)
Palladium
2365.00
(-0.69)
All Share
67483.76
(+1.94)
Top 40
62063.35
(+2.17)
Financial 15
12334.48
(-0.17)
Industrial 25
86843.77
(+0.34)
Resource 10
70371.81
(+5.45)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes morningstar logo
Company Snapshot
Voting Booth
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes, and I've gotten it.
21% - 1018 votes
No, I did not.
52% - 2551 votes
My landlord refused
28% - 1369 votes
Vote