If the recent report by Global Threat Index by cyber security vendor, Check Point is anything to go by. Most cyber-attacks perpetrated against Kenyan firms and individuals are from China.
According to Check Point, the first three months of this year saw a significant number of cyber-attacks to Kenyans businesses and individuals, emanating from China. Most of these attacks were targeting mobile devices – particularly smartphones – that are increasingly becoming the go-to device for digital and online content consumption among users.
While the report shows China to be the leading sources of cyber-attacks in Kenya, the report also pointed out the United States and Germany cyber-attacks targeting Kenya. It appears that the world’s greatest economies and powerhouses for technology are also doubling up as breeding grounds for hackers targeting the emerging economies.
Michael Tumusiime, a security engineer at Check Point, says that while the data shows most of these cyber-attacks emanating from China. It could be that cyber attackers are finding China the convenient country to dupe people into believing they are operating from.
They could very well be operating from within your organization in Kenya, but tricking you into thinking they are attacking from China. As it plays well into China’s government strict regulation of information flow from the country to the outside world.
Tumusiime explains, “It could be someone next door. You know how difficult it is to get information from China’s authorities. So it helps criminals to say that they are in China.”
Nonetheless, the level of cyber-attacks has increased in Kenya and Africa in general. A lot of these attacks are targeting mobile devices, as smartphones use becomes widespread in the market and people using them as their choice device for consuming digital information and carry out online transactions. Most people are less inclined to install anti-virus and anti-malware on their mobile devices compared to the conventional PCs
Tumusiime that most Kenyan firms and individuals are in a “blissful ignorance” where they cannot tell whether or not they have been victims of cyber-attacks. To address this blissful ignorance, there is a need to create awareness about cyber security, especially in mobile devices, as people tend to be less cautious about installing security software on their smartphones as they do on their PCs.