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Cyberthreat Cases Increased 7 Times During The Second Week Of December

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A recently released study using aggregated data from Surfshark Antivirus shows that every 50th scan finds at least one threat. As the festive season shopping is picking up, Surfshark Antivirus reports a rise of 572% in cyberthreats in Kenya in mid-December. Kenya had a threat rate of 16 threats per 100 scan cycle. In the past two months, the most common threats in Kenya have been riskware and SPR.

“The holiday shopping season leading up to Christmas is not only beneficial for the retailers but cybercriminals too,” – says Nedas Kazlauskas, Antivirus Product Owner at Surfshark. “People searching for gifts and deals online during the period of huge discounts are more likely to click on suspicious links, download malicious files, and infect their devices.”

Kenya has experienced 572% threat rate increase during the second week of December. The five countries that suffered the highest threat rate spikes during this time (week-over-week) were Italy (166%), Indonesia (187%), U.A.E. (1173%), Romania (430%), and Kenya (572%).

Europe has been the most affected region over the last couple of months

Aggregated monthly data from Surfshark Antivirus shows that Kenya is the 2nd country by threat rate in Africa since the start of the monitoring period a month to Black Friday up to mid-December. On average, 4 threats are found per 100 scans in Africa. It is 74% less than the global average. Globally, Europe is the most affected region by cyberthreats (24% more than the global average).

Most common cyberthreats since mid-October

The most common threat types identified and flagged during Surfsharks’ Antivirus scans are riskware (45.4% of all threats), heuristic 13.2%), and trojan (8.7%). Since October 17th, the latest weekly global scans show that, on average, 10 RISKWARE threats were found per 100 scans. Some malware (viruses, trojans, worms, etc.) tend to multiply once they’ve infiltrated and infected a device and could cause damage to files, personal data, and operating software. The most likely malware type to be found in bundles is VIRUS. 31% of scans that detect viruses will detect more than 50 of them.

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Two of the most common cyberthreat categories are malware and riskware. Riskware is a program made without malicious intent but has security vulnerabilities that give it the potential to become malware. Malware is any software, product, or program created or installed onto a computer to cause harm.

Hackers use malware to corrupt or delete files, steal money and personal data, copy passwords, or take control of specific programs. The most common ways for malware to be installed are phishing emails, corrupt attachments, suspicious downloads, unfamiliar links, and malicious websites. Malware comes in various types, such as viruses, trojans, worms, spyware, adware, bots, and more.

 

Tips to protect yourself from threats online

 

  • Avoid unfamiliar sites: Steer clear of unknown or unvetted sites that offer discounts too good to be true.
  • Look for the lock icon: Make sure the website has a secure HTTPS connection. The lock icon in the address bar can identify them as legitimate sites.
  • Update your software: Ensure the programs and apps are up to date to avoid potential security breaches.
  • Steer clear of suspicious links: Scammers will send malicious links via email, mobile or social. Please do not click on them; instead, verify deals on a retailer’s official website.
  • Watch for typos: Inconsistent grammar, multiple typos, and strange phrases can indicate potential scams.
  • Use Antivirus: It offers real-time protection from same-day threats and advanced detection against malware and cyberattacks.


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