Kenyans are increasingly being exposed to cyber attacks and online fraud due to the rapid growth of mobile applications on popular online stores.
The latest report by the Communication Authority shows for the three months to December, the National Kenya Computer Incident Response Team – Coordination Centre (National KE-CIRT/CC), detected 10.2 million cyber threats.
This is a dramatic spike given 4,589 cyber threats were detected over the same period in 2017.
“In particular, there was a rise in cases of malware and the sale of stolen data and credentials including personal data and credit card information,” the quarterly report stated.
Additionally, the report notes that cybercriminals are targeting their attacks on end-users who have limited cybersecurity skills.
During the review period, nine million online threats detected were malware which mainly included phishing attacks.
Through this, online attackers send emails purporting to be from reputable companies in order to coerce individuals into revealing personal information, such as usernames, passwords and credit card details.
During this period under review, 12,197 cyber threat advisories were issued to the affected organisations marking a 91 per cent increase from the advisories sent out to affected institutions in the previous quarter.
There were also 737,289 web application attacks detected during the review period which included website defacement and illegal access to online applications, 453,371 denial-of-service threats which hampered the availability of computer services and 3,449 attacks perpetrated through the exploitation of misconfigured systems.
Over the three month period, 158 cases of online abuse including online fraud, hate speech, incitement to violence and fake news were detected by the National KE-CIRT/CC.
The number of active mobile subscriptions grew 15.65 per cent to 49.5 million subscriptions compared to 42.8 million subscriptions over the same period in 2017.
This drove the country’s mobile penetration to 106.2 per cent during the quarter from 94.3 per cent during the same period in 2017 as most users own multiple SIM cards.
The Kenya Integrated Household Budget Survey (KIHBS) report published by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) in 2018 indicated that at least 30 per cent of Kenyans owned more than one SIM card.