A global cybersecurity firm, Kaspersky Lab, says Nigeria experienced the second highest malware attacks in Africa after Algeria in the first quarter of 2020.
Kaspersky, in its latest Mobile Malware Evolution report, added that Nigeria 15.56 per cent of users experienced mobile attacks in the first three months of the year.
According to the findings by analysts, Nigeria and Algeria are the only African countries which made the list of the top 10 countries by share of mobile device users attacked by malware.
Algeria came in second place with 21.44 per cent mobile device users experiencing attacks while Nigeria was in the fourth position globally with 15.56 per cent of mobile malware attacks.
The top three countries with the highest number of malware attacks, according to Kaspersky are Iran, Algeria and Bangladesh.
“In Q1 2020, the leader by share of attacked users was Iran (39.56per cent). Inhabitants of this country most frequently encountered adware apps from the Notifyer family, as well as Telegram clone apps. In second place was Algeria (21.44per cent), where adware apps were also distributed, but this time it was the HiddenAd and FakeAdBlocker families. Third place was taken by Bangladesh (18.58per cent), where a half of the top 10 mobile threats consisted of adware in the HiddenAd family,” the report stated.
The cybersecurity firm said that in Q1 2020, its mobile products and technologies detected 1,152,662 malicious installation packages, or 171,669 more than in the previous quarter.
According to the researchers, about 50 per cent of the threats were unwanted adware apps (49.9 per cent), which have their share increased by 19 percentage points compared to the previous quarter.
Kapersky added that it often detected members of the HiddenAd and Ewind families, with a combined slice of 40 per cent of all detected adware threats, as well as the FakeAdBlocker family (12 per cent).
In the quarter under review, it said cybercriminals exploited the coronavirus pandemic to modify a malware called Ginp banking trojan, renaming it Coronavirus Finder and offering it for €0.75 disguised as an app supposedly capable of detecting nearby people infected with COVID-19.
“The cybercriminals tried not only to scam users by exploiting hot topics, but to gain access to their bank card details. And because the Trojan remains on the device after stealing this data, the cybercriminals could intercept text messages containing two-factor authorisation codes and use the stolen data without the victim’s knowledge,” the report stated.
Analysts at the firm said during the reporting period that they detected 42,115 installation packages of mobile banking Trojans, the highest value in the past 18 months, and more than 2.5 times higher than in Q4 2019.
The company said the share of IP addresses from which attempts were made to attack Kaspersky telnet traps increased significantly and their share amounted to 81.1 per cent of all IP addresses from which attacks were carried out, while SSH traps accounted for slightly less than 19 per cent.