INTERPOL’s 2022 Africa Cyberthreat Assessment report has revealed that South Africa has the highest number of cybersecurity threats in Africa. In total, the country had 230 million threat detections, with 219 million of them being email-related threats. The report also highlighted that South Africa had the highest targeted ransomware and business email compromise (BEC) attempts.
Accenture further highlighted the issue by identifying that South Africa has the third highest number of cybercrime victims worldwide, at a cost of R2.2 billion a year. Mobile banking application fraud has increased by 100% in the country, and it is estimated to suffer 577 malware attacks every hour.
SABRIC reported that South Africa was second only to Russia in terms of gross fraud losses on South African-issued cards due to CNP fraud and banking malware attacks. Victims of credit card fraud in the African region may have their credit card information misused globally following the breach.
Another concern is cryptocurrency scams, where threat actors defraud victims of their cryptocurrency. South Africa is among the top ten countries worldwide where threat actors received the highest volume of cryptocurrency from illicit addresses.
According to the report, South Africa was also the country most heavily affected by targeted ransomware in the first quarter of 2021, with a variety of families such as Crysis, Nefilim, Ryuk, Clop, and Conti ransomware noted in the attacks. Egypt was the next hardest-hit country with a similar profile of targeted ransomware detection, while Tunisia was the third most affected country.
The high internet penetration rate of over 70% in South Africa provides an opportunity for cybercriminals to take advantage of unsuspecting internet users. It is important for individuals and businesses to take proactive measures to protect their online presence and be aware of potential threats.