A recent survey conducted by Check Point, a cyber security firm revealed that South Africa skyrocketed in the list of countries most targeted by cyber criminals. As revealed, South Africa soared from a previous 67th to 22nd position on the most targeted list as indicated in Check Points ThreatCloud Map.
Discussing the modus operandi of the cyber criminals, Doros Hadjizenonos, the country manager of Check Point South Africa related that the cyber security firm has noticed “an increase in phishing attacks targeting video-on-demand users, who are tricked into handing over their passwords under the guise that their accounts need to be updated.”
Usually, the criminals try to swindle internet users by getting them to expose financial and personal information in phishing attacks which are often dished out via spam emails with malicious attachments.
“These mails also install malware onto the user’s PC, which steals personal information, such as banking details, without the user knowing,” Hadjizenonos stated.
The manager disclosed that phishing attacks are designed to explore and exploit the increase in e-commerce. Thus, cyber criminals steadily come up with fraudulent apps and offer discounts to lure consumers.
“Tactics often involve ‘discounts’ when shopping online or through a retailer’s app. What consumers are often unaware of is that, even though the app or URL look legitimate, they have been designed with the sole purpose of stealing information.”
Reporting this, Fin24tech delineated that Check Point discovered “more than 1 500 malware families active during January.” As found in the report;
Conficker retained its top slot as the most prolific malware, accounting for 24% of all attacks, with Sality in second place.
Conficker disables security services and Sality is designed to persist in the system so that it can leave machines open to downloading additional malware.
…the Dorkbot worm made its way into third place. It allows attackers to execute remote code, with its primary purpose being to steal sensitive information.
“The increase in DDoS (distributed denial of service) attacks against public websites has been well publicized in the past couple of months, and the fact that the Dorkbot family is becoming more prevalent underlines the fact that businesses need to be taking steps to protect themselves against such attacks,” Hadjizenonos warned.