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Financial Phishing Attacks Increased in Kenya, Nigeria in Q2, 2022

Kenya and Nigeria recorded an increase in financial phishing attacks in the second quarter (Q2) of 2022.

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Cyber Security - Investors King

A report from Kaspersky, a multinational cybersecurity solutions and anti-virus provider company, showed that in the African region, Kenya and Nigeria recorded an increase in financial phishing attacks in the second quarter (Q2) of 2022.

The company’s Security Network data revealed that the number of financial phishing attempts in the two countries increased significantly from Q1 to Q2, 2022. Banks, payment systems, and e-commerce websites were attacked.

In Q2 of 2022, a total of 100,192 financial phishing attacks aimed at organizations were detected in Kenya, a 201% increase compared to Q1.

The largest share of attacks was directed at e-commerce websites (58%), with banks (21%) and payment systems (also 21%) following.

In Q2 of 2022, in Nigeria, a total of 61,344 financial phishing attacks aimed at organizations were detected, an increase of 79% compared to Q1.

The largest share of attacks was directed at e-commerce websites (52%), with payment systems (42%) and banks (6%) following.

Speaking on the report, the Head of Technical Experts at Kaspersky Emad Haffar, said “A life without Internet is strange to us. So much so that our financial life is now digital. This is the magic of digitization. But we also need to be aware of an unprecedented wave of challenges. 

“Financial threats are one such challenge that is becoming more advanced in exploiting human behavior and will only continue to grow.

“Businesses trying to stay ahead of such evolving, complex cyberattacks should make fraud prevention a focal point to control fraud transactions, eventually reduce fraud risk in the future and avoid reputation damage.”

Kaspersky also reported that in the second quarter (Q2) of 2022, phishing attacks skyrocketed with over 1 million observed, which has been described as the worst quarter for phishing that has ever been observed.

Phishing attacks against the financial sector, which includes banks, remained the largest set of attacks, accounting for 27.6 percent of all phishing.

The most targeted industries in Q2 of 2022 are as follows;

  1. Financial Institution – 27.6%
  2. Saas/Webmail – 19.1%
  3. Social media – 15.3%
  4. Payment – 6.3%
  5. E-commerce/ Retail – 5.6%
  6. Cryptocurrency – 4.5%
  7. Logistics/ Shipping – 4.3%
  8. Telecom – 2.6%
  9. Others – 14.7%

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Fintech

Leatherback Set for International Growth as EFCC Drops all Fraud and Misconduct Allegations

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Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has dropped all allegations of fraud and misconduct against Leatherback, a leading financial services technology company, and the company’s CEO, Toyeeb Ibrahim Ibitade.

In November 2023, EFCC announced that it had been made aware of the possibility of fraudulent activities on the Leatherback platform, leading to an investigation into the company’s operations to establish the facts. Cooperating fully with EFCC and working transparently with the organisation’s officials to provide a forensic view of its operations, Leatherback was able to unequivocally prove its innocence, leading the EFCC to drop all allegations and take down all previous communications on its website and social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter) around the matter.

Leatherback supported the EFCC investigation by making over 5,000 printed documents available to officials to enable as much clarity as possible. Leatherback also filed Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) in the UK and Nigeria.

According to Toyeeb Ibrahim Ibitade, CEO of Leatherback, “I am relieved to see the end of this arduous episode, but I am even more delighted to see that myself and Leatherback, as an organisation, have been completely cleared of all wrongdoing. With this episode firmly behind us, we are poised to accelerate our mission to provide a single access point that empowers individuals and businesses to be truly global, delivering best-in-class financial, payment, and commerce solutions that remove barriers to global growth and mobility for all citizens of the world.”

Headquartered in London, Leatherback is regulated in the United Kingdom, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Canada, India, Pakistan, Nepal, and Sri Lanka, enabling the platform to serve customers across a wide range of markets effectively. Tens of thousands of individuals and businesses already use the platform to support business and lifestyle opportunities every day. Leatherback is also FCA Authorised, PCI DSS Compliant, and ISO Certified.

About Leatherback

Leatherback offers financial services to businesses and individuals in multiple countries with no restrictions. Users can access up to 15 currencies from 21 countries, including NGN, GBP, INR, EUR, USD, and many other currencies. Users can also send and collect money locally and internationally, with invoicing, analytics, and permissions features available for businesses.

For more information, please visit: http://www.leatherback.co

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Fintech

Carbon Acquires Vella Finance to Enhance SME Offerings

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Carbon - Investors King

Digital financial services provider Carbon has completed the acquisition of Vella Finance, a Nigerian fintech company specializing in serving small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

The acquisition, announced through an official statement on Wednesday, signifies Carbon’s strategic move to bolster its SME offerings.

Although the financial details of the transaction were not disclosed, Carbon’s acquisition of Vella Finance, founded two years ago under its parent company, One Credit Limited, underscores its commitment to expanding its footprint in the fintech space.

Vella Finance’s expertise in AI-powered SME banking solutions particularly caught the attention of Carbon.

Through this acquisition, Carbon aims to leverage Vella Finance’s innovative technology to provide actionable insights from financial transactions to its SME customers.

Tolu Adedayo, co-founder and COO of Vella Finance, expressed enthusiasm about the integration, noting that several team members from Vella Finance have joined Carbon following the acquisition.

Adedayo further revealed that Vella Finance’s 8,000 SME customers would be transitioned to Carbon Business in the near future.

Chijioke Dozie, co-founder of Carbon, emphasized the alignment of values and vision between Carbon and Vella Finance, highlighting the potential for synergies and growth in the SME banking segment.

The acquisition marks a significant milestone for both companies as they aim to revolutionize financial services for SMEs in Nigeria.

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E-commerce

Alibaba Eyes Gulf Expansion, Seeks Partnerships in Saudi and UAE Markets

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Alibaba CEO Jack Ma gestures as he is introduced to participate in a panel discussion at the APEC CEO Summit in Manila

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., the prominent Chinese e-commerce giant, is actively pursuing expansion into the Gulf region, notably in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Alibaba’s president, Michael Evans, revealed the company’s strategy during a panel discussion at Dubai’s World Government Summit, highlighting a commitment to local partnerships as a key aspect of their approach.

Evans underscored Alibaba’s recent endeavors in Saudi Arabia, indicating a concerted effort to deepen its presence in the region’s burgeoning e-commerce landscape.

The move signifies Alibaba’s strategic pivot towards collaborative ventures following a period of strategic realignment prompted by government scrutiny and leadership changes.

The Gulf’s growing ties with China, driven by mutual economic interests and investment diversification initiatives, present an opportune moment for Alibaba’s expansion efforts.

However, geopolitical complexities, including heightened US scrutiny of China-linked entities, add a layer of challenge to Alibaba’s Gulf aspirations.

As Alibaba seeks to reclaim its leadership position in the global tech industry, the pursuit of partnerships in Saudi Arabia and the UAE underscores the company’s adaptive approach to international expansion.

The success of these ventures could potentially reshape the Gulf’s e-commerce landscape and deepen economic ties between the region and China.

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