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Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya record millions of cyber-attacks in 2020

A report has disclosed that millions of cyber-attacks occurred in some African countries, this year alone.

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Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya record millions of cyber-attacks in 2020

A report by Kaspersky  Security Solutions has revealed that about 28 million cyber-attacks and 102 million detections of potentially unwanted programs (pornware, adware etc.) were recorded as of August 2020.

The key highlight of the report indicated that the number of cyber-attacks were outnumbered by a growing trend in the use of “grey zone” programs which disturb users’ experiences, while users might not even be aware of their presence.

READ ALSO: Crude Oil: Nigeria’s volatile oil sector and economic progress   

On the reason for the growing “grey zone” software attacks, a security researcher at Kaspersky, Denis Parinov opined, “The reason why ‘grey zone’ software is growing in popularity is that it is harder to notice at first and that if the program is detected, its creators won’t be considered to be cybercriminals.

“The problem with them is that users are not always aware they consented to the installation of such programs on their device and that in some cases, such programs are exploited or used as a disguise for malware downloads. This is why many security solutions, including ours, flag such programs to make sure users are aware of its presence, influence on their device and activity.”

READ: Aiteo cries out as vandals continue to destroy its pipelines 

Commenting further, a part of the report read thus: “Potentially unwanted applications (PUAs) are programs that are usually not considered to be malicious by themselves. However, they are generally influencing user experience in a negative way. For instance, adware fills user device with ads; aggressive monetising software propagates unrequested paid offers; downloaders may download even more various applications on the device, sometimes malicious ones. While calculating interim results of threat landscape activity in African countries, the researchers noticed that PUAs attack users almost four times more often than traditional malware. They also eventually reach more users: for instance, while in South Africa, the malware would attack 415,000 users in 7-months of 2020, the figure for PUA would be 736,000.”

The report indicated that PUAs are potent and more widespread than traditional malware. For example, the results over the same 7-month period in Nigeria showed that there were 3.8 million cyber-attacks and 16.8 million PUA detections – which is four times as much.

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Kenyan and South African threat landscapes have been more intense. In South Africa, there were almost 10 million malware attacks and a staggering 43 million PUA detections. Kenyan users faced even more malware attacks – around 14 million, and 41 million PUA appearances.

Chidi Emenike is a graduate of economics, a Young African Leadership Initiative Fellow and an Investment Foundations certificate holder. He worked as a graduate Teaching Assistant in the Federal College of Education Kano and is also a trained National Peer Group Educator on Financial Inclusion

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Business

CBN reportedly suspends Paystack and other non-bank financial institutions from offering BVN validation services

Non-banks may have to look for alternative ways to carry out identity verification for their users, following new CBN regulation.

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Fintech

The Central Bank of Nigeria has reportedly suspended finTechs and other third-party partners from offering BVN validation service.

This was made known in an email from Paystack to customers which stated, “We’ve recently been made aware of a regulatory directive from the primary custodian of Nigeria’s BVN service to all their partners to suspend the provision of the BVN validation service to their third-party partners. This directive affects every non-bank in Nigeria that offers BVN Validation services. In light of this news, we’re hereby informing you that the BVN Resolve service will be temporarily unavailable starting at midnight, April 8, 2021.”

READ: How scammers use SIM cards to rob your bank accounts

READ: CBN instruct banks to close accounts related to Crypto

What this means

This suspension could mean that non-banks will have to look for alternative ways to carry out identity verification (KYC) for their users through NIN, Voters ID, Driver’s license etc.

Details soon…

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MTN USSD dispute: Meetings with banks, others still inconclusive

MTN has confirmed in a statement that the issue with banks regarding USSD services is yet to be resolved.

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Bank CEOs, NCC, CBN to meet over USSD charges

Series of meetings held among MTN, commercial banks and FinTechs to align on longer-term pricing structures on USSD services appeared inconclusive.

This was confirmed by the Telco giant in a statement issued by its spokesperson, Funso Aina on Thursday.

According to the statement, which was seen by Nairametrics, MTN stated that the streamlining it undertook is international standard and best practice as scale is built along distribution channels.

It stated, “We will provide a further market update once these discussions have been concluded. The streamlining MTN undertook is international standard and best practice as scale is built along distribution channels. We are confident that partners in the banking sector will work with us to ensure this process concludes as quickly as possible to the benefit of the entire industry.”

READ: FG stops telecom firms from withdrawing USSD services as minister intervenes

Full statement below

Update on banking channel partners’ dispute and expansion of channel network.

Following the temporary suspension of sales of MTN products through our banking channel partners on April 2, 2021, services were restored on Sunday, April 4, 2021 with customers able to access all services.

This was agreed on the basis that MTN would revert to its previous cost of sales structures with banking partners until a new long-term agreement can be reached on a sustainable pricing structure going forward.

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Consequent on the intervention of the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, the Nigeria Communication Commission and the Central Bank of Nigeria, since April 6, 2021, MTN has been participating in a series of meetings to align on longer-term pricing structures.

READ: NIPOST reclaim stamp duty collection from FIRS after years of dispute

We will provide a further market update once these discussions have been concluded. The streamlining MTN undertook is international standard and best practice as scale is built along distribution channels. We are confident that partners in the banking sector will work with us to ensure this process concludes as quickly as possible to the benefit of the entire industry.

MTN would like to thank our customers for their patience, and express our regret at the inconvenience imposed on them while banking channels were offline. In order to further expand the range of channels available to customers, MTN has activated a number of new channel partnerships with fintech partners and these will remain in place, significantly expanding the channels available to our customers and increasing our sales and distribution network.

READ: CBN freezes 11 bank accounts of companies, individual

Stanbic 728 x 90

The new channel partners include Sparkle, Konga Pay, Barter By Flutterwave, Jumia Pay, OPay, Kuda, Carbon, BillsnPay, MTN On-Demand, MTN Xtratime airtime loans (*606#), myMTN Web http://mymtn.com.ng and Momo agent *223#.

We would also like to thank the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, the Nigeria Communication Commission and the Central Bank of Nigeria for their rapid intervention and we look forward to a mutually acceptable solution that empowers all ecosystem participants.

READ: CBN: Over N3 trillion (72%) of Intervention Funds remain outstanding

What you should know

  • Banks lifted the ban placed on MTN subscribers from recharging their lines or data plan via Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD), according to Nairametrics.
  • This was confirmed by our analyst, who recharged his line using the USSD code of GTBank last Sunday.

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