The Communication Authority(CA) of Kenya has released a report of data collected between the month of October to December indicating that more than 56 Million cyber-attacks were detected.
In a report dubbed October –December 2020 Communication Authority of Kenya National KE-CIRT/CC Cybersecurity Report, the commission revealed a shocking trend of cyber attacks in Kenya.
CA in co-ordination with National Kenya Computer Incident Response Center revealed that the attacks were highly attributed to the high uptake of online usage thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic.
During the month of October to December 2020, the authority collected data from organizations and the public regarding cyber threats events.
In it’s findings, the authority saw an increment on the usage of social media platforms among Kenyans than ever before. This provided attackers with a wider attack surface to propagate various cyber incidents such as hate speech, incitement, cyber bullying, online trolling, social media impersonation and misinformation.
This trend forced Social media service provider to counter by introducing fact checking warnings into their platforms.
Cyber crime attacks
The authority stated that the period was also characterized by an increase in cyber crime targeting remote workers with attackers taking advantage of the lack of corporate firewalls and other location binding cybersecurity measures amongst remote workers.
Among the tack ticks used by the attackers included exploitation of vulnerabilities on systems that support remote working such as Virtual private Networks (VPN), video conferencing applications, among others.
The authority noted that phishing attacks were also experienced at a higher level.
Phishing is the fraudulent attempt by a cybercriminal to obtain sensitive data by posing as a trustworthy party.
During the same period, the national KE-CIRT/CC detected 46,069,525 malware threat events. This was a 44.7% increase compared to 31,842,635 threats recorded at same period last year.
Total cyber threats experienced were 56,206,097 threats representing 56% higher than what was experienced the previous year between the months of July to September where 35,173,937 cyber threats had been detected.
The report found out that the attackers were exploiting system vulnerabilities to launch their attacks. The attackers exploited the systems by possessing at least one applicable tool or technique that can connect to a system weakness.
The common services exploited include web access services, network services, domain name systems and remote access services.
To counter the attacks, the National KE-CIRT/CC issued 21,513 cyber threat advisories to critical organizations within the country. The advisories were aimed at providing timely information on emerging and current vulnerabilities and cyber threats thereby enhancing the cyber readiness of critical organizations in Kenya.
The report notes that as a result of measures taken to curb the threat through the concerted consumer awareness campaigns, there was a decrease in cases of impersonation, online fraud, online abuse and child abuse cases reported to National Kenya Computer incident Response Center.
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