Ecommerce and payment platforms now the focus of phishing attacks

  • Data gleaned from the Kaspersky Security Network reveals a substantial increase in the number of phishing attacks directed businesses
  • In Kenya attacks spiked 201 percent between Q1 and Q2 2022
  • In South Africa alone, 194 090 attacks were identified in Q2 2022

Cybercriminals have shifted focus from consumers to corporations according to new data from Kaspersky.

Analysing data from Kaspersky Security Network, the firm noted an increase in the number of financial phishing attacks on the African continent between Q1 and Q2 of this year. Worryingly, banks, payment systems and ecommerce websites were being attacked.

The cybersecurity firm identified as many as 194 090 financial phishing attacks aimed at organisations in the second quarter of the year. These attacks were detected in South Africa.

The largest portion of these attacks (69 percent) were directed at ecommerce websites while 17 percent 14 percent were directed at banks and payment system respectively.

During the same period in Kenya, there was a spike in financial phishing attacks. Between Q1 and Q2, these attacks increased 201 percent. Here again, ecommerce websites were the prime target accounting for 58 percent of attacks while banks and payment systems account for 21 percent of attacks each.

“And in Nigeria, a total of 61,344 financial phishing attacks aimed at organisations were detected, an increase of 79% compared to Q1. The largest share of attacks was directed at e-commerce websites (52%), with payment systems (42%) and banks (6%) following,” Kaspersky writes in a press release.

Ecommerce is a booming market on the African continent. Analysis by the US International Trade Administration suggests that by 2025 there will be a half a billion ecommerce users on the African continent. Given that a traditional bank account isn’t something everybody on the continent has, it makes sense that crims would target the businesses and platforms where the money from citizens flows through.

To address this, Kaspersky recommends investing in fraud prevention.

“A life without Internet is strange to us. So much so that our financial life is now digital. This is the magic of digitisation. But we also need to be aware of an unprecedented wave of challenges. Financial threats are one such challenge which is becoming more advanced in exploiting human behaviour and will only continue to grow. Businesses trying to stay ahead of such evolving, complex cyberattacks should make fraud prevention a focal point to control fraud transactions, eventually reduce fraud risk in the future and avoid reputation damage,” says Emad Haffar, head of technical experts at Kaspersky.

Kaspersky’s data also lines up with data from Mimecast released earlier this year.

“Ninety-four percent of South African companies have been targeted by an email-related phishing attack in the past year, with nearly two-thirds citing an increase in such attacks,” cybersecurity expert at Mimecaat, Brian Pinnock, said in March.


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