Domain Name System (DNS) abuse, in the form of domain name hijacking, cybersquatting, spam, phishing, botnets and malware, is emerging as a threat to the continued stability of South Africa’s internet ecosystem, domain manager ZA Central Registry said on Friday.
It said the targets of DNS abuse were commonly individual internet users tricked into parting with usernames, passwords and sensitive financial information; organisations whose domain names were held to ransom, registrars who might be tricked into transferring domain ownership under false pretences and even government departments whose online presence may be hacked.
“Growing cyberattacks in the form of DNS abuse are putting millions of South Africans at risk while they are depending on their Internet and email connections at a critical time in our history,” ZACR, a non-profit company which manages several South African web domains, said in a statement.
Last year South Africa experienced well over 10 000 cyberattacks on a daily basisa day, according to global cyber security company Kaspersky Lab.
On Friday, ZACR said the country had a remarkably robust and resilient local web with many protective systems in place.
“New threats are, however, emerging to threaten the stability of the South African internet and top of the list are attempts at DNS abuse,” it said.
Among other protective measures, it said users should use longer passphrases when accessing internet pages and stay informed on different types of DNS abuse like malware, botnets, phishing, pharming and spam.
“With more user education and a proactive local DNS ecosystem, South Africa has the opportunity remain relatively unscathed in the face of this growing global threat,” ZACR added.