Rise in Mobile Threats Observed in the Middle East, Türkiye, Africa in Q2 2023
Rise in Mobile Threats Observed in the Middle East, Türkiye, Africa in Q2 2023

Azamat E (unsplash)

Kaspersky shared a report highlighting the dynamics of mobile cyberthreats in Q2 2023, noting an increasing trend in threats targeting mobile devices. As reliance on mobile devices for personal data sharing and corporate network connections grows, there was a 5% uptick in mobile threat detections, especially in the Middle East, Turkiye, and Africa region in Q2 2023 compared to the same period in 2022. All these threats were effectively neutralized by Kaspersky’s mobile defense mechanisms.

The report’s data sources are rooted in Kaspersky solutions designed for Android devices, a platform commanding a significant market share in the Middle East, Africa, and Turkiye. Though Apple devices aren’t devoid of cyberthreats, exemplified by the recent Triangulation attack Kaspersky identified, monitoring these devices presents challenges owing to the uniqueness of their operating system.

Key mobile threats identified in the Middle East, Turkiye, and Africa region included adware and threats targeting mobile banking. Adware detections in Q2 experienced notable surges across various countries: 94% in Nigeria, 49% in Turkiye, 27% in South Africa, 39% in Kenya, and 6% in the Middle East. Moreover, banking trojans, designed to pilfer data from online banking and e-payment platforms, pose a considerable risk. Turkiye, in particular, witnessed a 102% rise in Trojan-Banker detections in Q2 2023 compared to Q2 2022.

Kaspersky’s report provides an in-depth examination of these threats.

Kaspersky’s Malware Analyst Team Lead, Anton Kivva, emphasized that the proliferation of smartphones and mobile banking in the Middle East, Turkiye, and Africa is attracting more attention from cybercriminals. He anticipates a wave of phishing attacks, malicious mobile software, and rogue apps masquerading as authentic financial tools. The continual reliance of cybercriminals on tactics such as SMS and voice phishing means that both individuals and businesses in these regions should double down on mobile cybersecurity practices. This includes using top-tier antivirus solutions, consistent software updates, educating users, and maintaining a keen eye against deceptive tactics.

Kaspersky offers several suggestions for mobile threat protection:

  • Only procure apps from trusted platforms like Apple AppStore, Google Play, or Amazon Appstore. Even though these platforms aren’t flawless, they maintain certain standards and app vetting processes. Prospective app users should always peruse reviews for potential red flags.
  • Scrutinize app permissions judiciously, being especially wary of permissions with significant risk potential, such as Accessibility Services.
  • Tools like Kaspersky Premium can proactively identify and thwart malicious apps and adware.
  • Regularly update the device’s operating system and crucial applications as newer versions can address prevalent security issues.
  • Kaspersky urges the mobile industry to intensify cyber defense measures, emphasizing the necessity for user-centric security solutions. Their Consumer Business Alliances initiative seeks to empower companies with comprehensive cybersecurity offerings, all underpinned by Kaspersky’s global expertise and support.