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Over 30,000 Mobile Malware Attacks Blocked in Nigeria, Kenya, SA in H1 2021 – Kaspersky

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Kaspersky - Investors King

Out of the more than 206 000 mobile malware attacks blocked by Kaspersky solutions for the Middle East, Turkey and Africa (META) region in just 6-months measured, between January to June 2021, over 30 000 of these attacks combined originated from Nigeria (14 071), Kenya (10 697), and South Africa (5 499).

Significantly, for African countries monitored, Nigeria only trails Egypt (19 466) by the number of attacks blocked, pointing to how prevalent mobile threats have become in this highly connected country. In fact, Kaspersky’s latest research shows that when looking at the top ten countries by share of users attacked by mobile malware Nigeria places eighth (at 11.76%). Even though Kenya and South Africa might not feature as prominently, the mobile malware threat is still a concern, along with the shift to more targeted based attacks these countries are seeing.

The top three most prevalent malware behaviours that Kaspersky has seen in Kenya and Nigeria are Trojans, Trojan-Downloaders; and Trojan-Droppers. In South Africa, these are Trojans, Trojan-Proxy; and Trojan-Downloaders.

A Trojan is a type of malware that is often disguised as legitimate software which attackers can use to try and gain access to user systems. As the name suggests, Trojan-Downloaders download and install new versions of malicious programmes, including Trojans and Adware on victim computers. Meanwhile, Trojan-Droppers usually save a range of files containing malicious programmes to the victim’s drive. Once installed, a Trojan-Proxy allows an attacker to use the infected device as a proxy to connect to the Internet.

“Mobile malware remains a significant threat for corporate and personal users across Africa. These attacks are usually very diverse with hackers leveraging a range of methodologies and technologies to compromise victim’s devices. Trojan-Downloaders and Trojan-Droppers are especially dangerous given their potential to contain significantly damaging payloads,” says Bethwel Opil, Enterprise Sales Manager at Kaspersky in Africa.

In addition to installing cybersecurity solutions on their mobile devices, like Kaspersky Total Security, here are a few additional ways users can enhance their security:

  • Create a strong password. By putting a strong password on their smartphone, the device can become unusable if it is lost or stolen and the password attempt fails a certain number of times.
  • Do not trust SMS. Mobile malware uses text messages, so users should never respond to requests for credit card details or other private information.
  • Check your browser for the lock symbol. The lock icon in the address bar indicates that the sight is secure when entering personal data.

Install apps from reputable sources. Popular shopping sites such as Amazon or eBay have their own mobile applications. You must check to see they are the official apps from the company before you initiate a download. This can be done by checking the developer information and user ratings on the download page

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Telecommunications

Call, Data Rate to Jump 100% as FG Imposes 5% Excise Duty on Telecoms

Call and Data rates could jump as much as 100% once the Federal Government implemented 5% excise duty on telecommunication services

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Services Tax

Call and Data rates could jump as much as 100% once the Federal Government implemented 5% excise duty on telecommunication services, a source from the sector stated.

According to industry experts, the increment will not only impact subscribers but also increase tax burden on telcos which would translate into rise in tariffs.

This, experts explained would increase the total consumption tax on the sector from just the 7.5% Value Added Tax (VAT) to 12.5%, a situation they said would worsen Nigerians’ economic status given the ongoing happenings in the country.

If implemented, Nigerians are now expected to be paying as much as N40 a minute, up from N20 and could be paying up to N2,500 per gigabyte.

Last week, Isa Pantami, Nigeria’s Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, decried the new tax, threatening to take the Federal Government to court for overburden the industry with so much taxes at a time when the telecommunication sector and the entire Nigerian economy was not faring well.

He said: “The 5 percent excise duty will overburden the industry. As a Minister, I was neither consulted nor obtained a memo to that effect. Even the appropriate lawmakers that were supposed to be talked with have also told me they were not.

”Things are not done that way. Besides condemning the tax, we will take every lawful step to guarantee that the tax does not stand.”

However, Ahmed Zainab, Nigeria’s Finance Minister, had different excuse for going ahead with the new 5% excise duty. According to her, the new 5% excise duty was in line with 2020 Finance Act and was part of Federal Government efforts at augmenting the nation’s revenue, especially from the non-oil sector.

The National Association of Telecoms Subscribers and the Nigerian Telecommunication Consumer have joined Pantami and other Nigerians to kick against the decision they considered wicked and inconsiderate.

Chief Adeolu Ogunbajo, president National Association of Telecoms Subscribers (NATCOMS) also added his voice. He said the sector is barely holding its ground with the existing 7.5 percent VAT, additional 5 percent will sum the total VAT in the sector to 12.5 percent. This is a killer move on the sector, he said.

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Fintech

Soft POS User Base to Grow 475% Globally by 2027

The total number of merchants deploying soft POS solutions will surpass 34.5 million globally by 2027

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point of sales

A new study from Juniper Research has found the total number of merchants deploying soft POS solutions will surpass 34.5 million globally by 2027; rising from 6 million in 2022. This growth will be driven by Apple’s entrance into the soft POS space; enabling iOS users to access an affordable mobile POS solution.

Soft POS enables NFC enabled smartphones or tablets to accept contactless payments, without additional hardware.

1.2 Billion iOS Users Added to Soft POS Market

The research forecasts that Apple’s decision to enable third parties to develop soft POS solutions leveraging iOS NFC capabilities will result in an influx of iOS-specific services; leading to innovative solutions for merchants. Furthermore, the research predicts Apple’s entry will provide 1.2 billion iOS users with soft POS capabilities; unlocking a previously untapped market.

Soft POS is the latest development from Apple within the payments space; building upon Apple Pay and Apple Pay Later. Soft POS vendors should leverage Apple’s payment ecosystem by developing innovative solutions such as integrated QR payment acceptance, using Apple Pay and Pay Later compatibility to attract a broader iOS user base.

Increasing Contactless Payment Adoption to Drive Soft POS Uptake

The research anticipates soft POS adoption being driven by the increasing use of contactless payments – with volumes expected to rise from 195 billion in 2022 to 408 billion by 2027. Therefore, consumers will come to expect contactless acceptance as standard; forcing smaller merchants to adopt contactless-capable POS solutions. Merchants are anticipated to embrace soft POS, based on cost savings achievable from eliminating the need for additional hardware, as well as mobility advantages over contactless POS.

This will be profound for small-sum and mobile merchants that must accept contactless transactions, but lack the need for high-cost dedicated terminals. As such, the research recommends soft POS vendors must look to target micro and mobile merchants; designing solutions that meet their unique needs.

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Fintech

Buy Now Pay Later Users to Reach Over 900 Million Globally by 2027

Buy Now Pay Later users will surpass 900 million globally by 2027; increasing from 360 million in 2022.

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mastercard biometric payment card fingerprint

A new study from Juniper Research has predicted that the number of BNPL (Buy Now Pay Later) users will surpass 900 million globally by 2027; increasing from 360 million in 2022. This substantial growth of 157% will be driven by the anticipated economic downturn, which will increase the demand for low-cost credit solutions.

BNPL schemes enable consumers to spread the cost of their purchases without interest charges; making them a highly attractive alternative to credit cards. Additionally, BNPL services do not require hard credit checks and an increasing number of merchants are accepting this payment method; making it easier to access for consumers than traditional credit.

India to Experience High User Growth

The research identified India as having potential for rapid growth in BNPL, with users predicted to grow from 25 million in 2022 to 116 million by 2027. This is due to rising eCommerce usage and growing interest in international goods available through online retailers. In turn, it recommends that vendors build strategic partnerships with vendors in developing markets with established consumer bases, to successfully capitalise on this user growth and associated revenue.

Virtual Cards to Further Boost Usage

The research predicts that the adoption of virtual cards, where digital only cards are used for purchases, will increase the usage of BNPL solutions, as they only require merchants to accept card payments – overcoming previous limitations on growth. The advancement of virtual cards allows BNPL schemes to compete with credit cards; particularly in-store, where single use BNPL cards can be used within a digital wallet to complete contactless transactions.

Juniper Research recommends that in order to compete in this highly competitive landscape, BNPL vendors must differentiate their services: including offering virtual cards, browser extensions that automatically facilitate BNPL payment services, and digital loyalty schemes.

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