Cyber Attacks in Uganda

Kaspersky Security Solutions released a report from its research sometime in September 2020, detailing the extent of cyber – attacks on the African continent following an almost year long study that started in January 2020 ending August 2020 “and the year is not over yet”.

The attacks documented are malware, adware and other similar attacks totalling a whooping 28 million malware attacks and 102 million unwanted programs on the continent. In the report, it is revealed that adware has the habit of filling user device with ads, aggressive monetising software propagating unrequested paid offers, and downloaders downloading more applications on their devices.

In the research conducted, Uganda recorded more adware and other attacks than malware (malicious software – software designed to cause damage coming along with viruses, worms, ransomware and pornware among others) with about 10, 081, 595 (adware) and 2,567,693 (malicious attacks) respectively from that period.

According to the press release by the company following the outing of the report, the “numbers show that it’s not only the malware that attacks users but also the ‘grey zone’ programs that grow in popularity and disturb their experiences, while users might not even know it is there” reads the statement.

The month that ended August, recorded more adware and other attacks at 1,88,261 than any other month with April recording the least attacks at 916,478 and the highest malware recorded in the month of March and the least in the month of April standing at 244,502 cases.

This report gives context to the attack that devastated Uganda’s biggest telecommunication companies MTN and Airtel, and a major bank, Stanbic Bank costing the companies billions of Uganda Shillings in losses, and from the preliminary investigations published in the Ugandan press, the attacks could have resulted from malware or adware attacks that affected compromised computer systems.

Kaspersky in its report advises users to use reliable security solution on all devices connected to the internet in order to ensure their protection against the attacks.

South Africa (SA), Kenya and Nigeria topped the list of cyber attacks on the continent. SA alone had a record 10 million malware attacks and 43 million potentially unwanted applications (PUA) detected, over 3.8 million malware attacks and 16.8 PUA attacks for Nigeria and Uganda’s neighbour Kenya had 14 million malware attacks and 41 million PUA detected.