By Hamed Mahmoud
Kaspersky Security Network (KSN) statistics around cybersecurity threats in Egyptian indicate that all malware infections have increased by 21 per cent in 2020 as compared to 2019.
Since the start of this pandemic, cybercriminals have found new ways of exploiting users, resulting in spikes across different kinds of malware in the region. As people work, study, shop, and bank from home, attackers appear to have shifted their focus to the devices they use. Tactics are also evolving to include malicious email attachments and links, downloadable malware, and more. Left unchecked, malware can cause the infected device to slow down or stop working entirely. Malware can also delete or steal data, putting the users’ privacy in jeopardy.
Egypt also saw an increase of 8 per cent in crypto-mining threats. This increase is a marked contrast with the global trend, which saw a 24 per cent decrease in crypto-miner infections.
In recent months, there has been a spike in the prices of cryptocurrencies, driving significant interest in a valuable, digital asset class. Unfortunately, cybercriminals have met this heightened interest with equal force, creativity, and malicious intent. By their very nature, crypto miners aim to stay hidden – the longer they wait, the greater the profit potential. As a result, victims may not even notice them for a long time, until they are defrauded or they feel system resources exhaustion.
The statistics show a 16% decrease in banking Trojan attacks in Egypt in 2020, despite a global increase of 29 per cent in the same type of attacks. Probably this points to the success of a strong regulatory environment that is focused on generating awareness, and individual prioritisation of security and privacy. This heightened awareness and preparedness have also reduced the instances – and impact – of ransomware, which fell by 27 per cent during 2020.
Maher Yamout, Senior Security Researcher at Kaspersky, said: “The cybersecurity threat environment is dynamic, evolving, and topical, making it more challenging to keep pace with the cybersecurity threats. Particularly, when accessing shopping deals, personal finances, and investment opportunities, it pays to be more careful. In contrast to other major countries in the region, Egypt showed the steepest drop in banking Trojan attacks, which probably stands testament to Egypt’s dedication towards improving cybersecurity measures across the country.”