Government departments and ministries as well as telecommunications, manufacturing and financial companies are the most targeted sectors for cyber attacks in South Africa and Nigeria, business risk consultancy firm, Control Risks, said on Tuesday.
Last week, the Africa focused risk advisory company released a report on targeted attacks in East Africa which said “cyber attacks are increasing rapidly and in severity” across the world, including Africa.
It said for Kenya alone, the estimated costs for the country due to cyber crime costs amounted to $23m.
The company has now said in response to emailed inquiries that for Nigeria, government, telecommunications companies, oil and gas, financial services and mining as well as manufacturing are the most targeted.
When it comes to South Africa; government, manufacturing, engineering and oil and gas companies are the most affected by cyber attacks. Mining and telecommunications companies in South Africa are the fifth ranked target for cyber attacks, Control risks said.
Spear phishing, SQL injection and Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) are the most used methods for cyber attacks in both Nigeria and South Africa. Other countries in the Southern African region where cyber attackers use the same methods include Zimbabwe, Botswana and Mozambique.
“For both Nigeria and Southern African countries, the most popular (as in most widely used) attack methods are: spear phishing, SQL injection which is employed to leak data online and to deface websites and DDoS,” Control Risks said.For Nigeria, attacks on government accounted for 25% of all attacks while telecommunications cyber-attacks accounted for 19%. Cyber-attacks on oil and gas industries as well as finance institutions accounted for 13% and 12% respectively.Government attacks accounted for 28% of attacks in Southern Africa followed by manufacturing and finance which had the same levels at 17%. In the Southern African region, telecommunications attacks accounted for about 5%.South Africa has suffered numerous website hacks from attackers in the past, with Anonymous Africa launching various attacks on government departments such as the Department of Water Affairs. The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) said earlier this month that its websites had been hacked by Anonymous Africa.In East Africa, Advanced Persistent Threat and Criminal Targeted Attacks were deemed to be the “most impactful cyber-attack techniques” in the past year. Globally, there has been a 42% increase in the number of targeted attacks reported between 2015 and the end of the second quarter of the current year.