Nigeria has moved from being the fifth most attacked country in terms of mobile malware attacks in 2017, to being the third most hit in 2018.
According to reports by Kasperky Lab, a global cybersecurity company with deep threat intelligence and security expertise, four African countries made the list in terms of top 10 countries by share of users attacked by mobile malware – Nigeria in third place at 37.72%, Algeria in fifth place (35.06%), Tanzania in eighth place (31.34%), and Kenya in ninth place with 29.72%.
Kaspersky Lab researchers have seen the number of attacks using malicious mobile software nearly double from 2017 to 2018. Last year, there were 116.5 million attacks, compared with 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.
As the world becomes more mobile, the role of smartphones in business processes and day-to-day life is growing rapidly. In response, cyber criminals are paying more attention to how they are distributing malware and the attack vectors used. The channels through which malware is delivered to users and infects their devices is a key part of the success of a malicious campaign today, taking advantage of those users who do not have any security solutions installed on their phones.
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 cyber criminal 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.