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Cyber attacks increase in Kenya during festive season

By Winnie Onyando December 28th, 2022 2 min read

Cybercriminals have taken advantage of the Christmas celebration season by targeting online shoppers.

A new surveillance report by Dutch network company Surfshark shows that Kenya and Uganda are among countries that have recorded the most cyber threats in the run up to the festive season, occasioned by ‘Black Friday’ and Christmas offers.

According to the findings, cyber related attacks shot up by 572 per cent in the second week of December.

Nedas Kazlauskas, Antivirus Product Owner at Surfshark said that cases of cyber-attacks increased because many people were rushing to look for offers online during the festive season.

“The holiday shopping season leading up to Christmas is not only beneficial for the retailers but cybercriminals too. People searching for gifts and deals online during the period of huge discounts are more likely to click on suspicious links, download malicious files, and infect their devices,” said Kazlauskas.

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The threats most registered in Kenya are riskware – a program made without malicious intent but with security loopholes – and malware – a program created to cause harm to a computer or mobile device. These accounted for 67.3 percent of all threats reported.

The reported cyber threats could be used to corrupt or delete files in one’s device, steal money and personal data, copy passwords which they later use to attack the individual after gaining access to their personal information.

People can keep themselves safe by avoiding unfamiliar websites with “too good to be true” offers, and steering clear of suspicious links in emails or chats.

One should also avoid visiting strange sites that are giving their personal information to untrusted pages.

On the other hand, you can also protect yourself from cyber-attacks by purchasing products from sites you know and trust.