National Cybersecurity Centre warns of spike in cybersecurity threats

The National Cybersecurity Centre (NCC) detected over 3.8 million cyber threats in the first quarter of 2018-2019, indicating that Kenyans continue to be at a high risk of online attacks.

According to a new report by the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA), the threats represented an increase of 11.76 per cent from the last quarter of the year where 3.4 million threats were detected.

CA attributed the increased threats to enhanced cyber threat detection capabilities through deployment of additional sensors and increased resources towards cyber threat analysis

“The cyber threats detected varied from denial-of-service (DoS) including botnet and brute-force attacks that led to denial of computer services and illegal access to computer systems; online impersonation via social media accounts and domain names; website attacks including defacement; malware including phishing attacks; online abuse including online fraud, hate speech, incitement to violence and fake news; and systems misconfiguration,” says the CA report.

The report revealed the susceptibility of Kenyans’ personal information and money in a country where financial institutions are eager to integrate digital technology to keep up with telcos which play an important role in facilitating transactions.

Financial institutions lost Sh21 billion due to attacks on cybersecurity in 2017.

Last week, CA warned of a malware dubbed Emotet that accessed confidential information of Kenyans using online banking and payment systems. The malware, which attacked 11 Kenyan institutions, can cost up to $1 million (Sh102 million)per incident to resolve, according to the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team.

Deposit taking saccos, which boasted a total assets portfolio of Sh442.3 billion in 2017, are also highly vulnerable when it comes to cybersecurity.

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