In a concerning revelation, Kenya has experienced a dramatic increase in cyberattacks, with an astounding 860 million incidents reported within the past year, as confirmed by the country’s communications regulator. This surge in cyber threats has raised significant concerns due to its escalating frequency, sophistication, and scale, specifically targeting Kenya’s vital information infrastructure.
To put this surge in perspective, just four years ago, in 2017, Kenya faced a relatively modest 7.7 million cyberattacks, underscoring the magnitude of this recent increase.
One particularly high-profile cyberattack in July was attributed to the pro-Russian hacking group Anonymous Sudan. This attack disrupted access to more than 5,000 online government services in Kenya, affecting critical functions such as visa, passport, and driver’s license applications and renewals. Additionally, the assault crippled online train booking systems and mobile money transactions, severely impacting the daily lives of Kenyan citizens.
Shedding light on the nature of these attacks, the Communications Authority of Kenya disclosed that a significant 79% of them involved criminals infiltrating the computer systems of various organizations. Furthermore, 14% of the incidents were characterized by the use of malicious software, 6.5% featured cybercriminals overwhelming servers with traffic to overload their infrastructure, and the remaining attacks were aimed at compromising web applications.
Regrettably, Kenya has now found itself ranked as the third most targeted country for cybercriminals in Africa, trailing behind Nigeria and South Africa. This alarming trend serves as a stark reminder of the pressing need for strengthened cybersecurity measures to protect the nation’s critical digital assets. The government and relevant stakeholders must collaborate to ensure the safety and security of Kenya’s digital landscape in an era where cyber threats continue to evolve and multiply.
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