Malware Attacks Assume Great Measures, Says Report

NIGERIAN start-up Saja is rolling out its solar-powered mobile charging carts in Lagos, allowing micro-entrepreneurs to develop their businesses.
Formed in May, Saja piloted its carts at the NYSC Orientation Camp in Lagos and at the RCCG Redemption camp, seeing impressive traction. It has now deployed 10 carts and charges over 200 phones daily.
Co-founder Seyi Fakoya said he was inspired to launch Saja after coming across a vendor who sells airtime by the roadside charging people’s phones using a generator.
“I have rarely used their service as I have various sources to charge my phones. It dawned on me that there are millions of people that don’t have what I have, and I thought if there was a way of providing this service in a cost-effective and environmentally friendly way, we could be onto something big,” he said.
Saja does just that, having designed a mobile push-cart that is powered by solar energy to provide the same service. They can also do more than simply charge phones, and are able to provide agent banking services, point of sale, merchandise and other services.
The startup has raised debt capital from the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund, and has also signed an Agent Network Agreement with AppZone Group to manage agents on their behalf.
“We are currently servicing Lagos, but aim to move fast as we scale our infrastructure to cover Nigeria. We plan to conquer Nigeria in the next two years before expanding to other countries,” said Fakoya.
Saja makes money via transaction fees, customer acquisition fees, direct service fees and advertising on its carts.
“We are currently earning from the direct service fees. We are in pre-revenue stage and as we build our tech and our network, we shall implement other forms of revenue methods,” Fakoya said.


Latest report from Check Point Software Technologies Limited revealed that 2017 has proved to be a lucrative year for cybercrime, and that prominent malware and attack methods continue to evolve, creatively bypassing existing security solutions.
“ In 2016, we witnessed sophisticated new malware emerging on a regular basis, exposing new capabilities, distribution methods, and attack services offered for sale through multiple platforms” the report said adding that 2017 is shedding light on a new trend – simple, yet highly effective malware families are causing rapid destruction globally.
It said further that so far, in 2017 cyber-attacks are occurring at a higher frequency than previous years. Recent infiltrations have demonstrated the agility, scale and persistence of an attack that criminals are capable of executing. All regions have suffered from these large-scale attacks, reinforcing the need for proactive solutions.
Massive attack campaigns such as WannaCry, NotPetya and Fireball showcase the nature of today’s threat landscape. As the year progressed, we were able to witness the reoccurring global trends listed below:
Nation-state cyber weapons are now in the hands of criminals
Data leakage incidents have significantly evolved in sophistication, frequency and volume of data being accessed. As seen in several incidents throughout the first half of 2017, the theft and consequent availability of key nation-state hacking tools, combined with wide scale zero-day vulnerabilities, now enable unskilled hackers to carry out highly sophisticated attack campaigns.

The line between Adware and malware is fading, and mobile adware botnets are on the rise.
Adware, which automatically displays or downloads advertising material on an infected machine, was until recently not among our greatest concerns, as while sometimes annoying, its sole purpose is to generate revenue and not to cause actual damage. In parallel, mobile adware botnets continue to expand and dominate the mobile malware arena. In the first half of 2017, we witnessed a persistent rise in the spread and technical capabilities of mobile adware botnets.
Macro-based downloaders continue to evolve
As malware continues to evolve, the same is true for its delivery methods. During the past six months, we have seen some new methods for exploiting Microsoft Office files, which no longer require victims to open the door for the attackers by enabling macros.
A new wave of mobile bankers on GooglePlay
On top of the large adware campaigns which we have grown accustomed to finding on Google Play, a new wave of mobile bankers, most of which belong to the BankBot family managed to enter the play store undetected and infect users. This is an alarming development as the bankers malware harm users directly, and supposed to be easier to detect.
However, the perpetrators combined open-sourced banking malware code with complex obfuscation techniques to successfully and repeatedly bypass Google’s protections.
When we look at the main malware categories – banking, mobile an ransomware – we see that ransomware is by far the most prevalent across all regions, including Europe, Middle East and Africa. The below infographic clearly shows the prominent spread of ransomware in each region:
Even with massive outbreaks such as WannaCry and NotPetya making global news, most organisations continue to rely on a strategy of detection and response after an attack has occurred rather than prevention. Many of these prominent attacks use known malware variants that could easily have been blocked had the proper security been implemented before the attack had occurred. To stay one step ahead of cybercriminals, organisations should remain attuned to the ever-changing threat landscape.
By understanding emerging threats and implementing the latest prevention technologies, organisations can create a solid cyber security defensive posture.
The Cyber Attack Trends: Mid-Year Report provides you with a comprehensive overview of the cyber landscape; ransomware, banking and mobile threats based on data drawn from the ThreatCloud World Cyber Threat Map between January and June of 2017.
By Barbra Nasimiyu

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