Mobile apps on online stores exposing Kenyans to increased cyberattacks, fraud – CA

A proliferation of mobile applications on popular online stores is exposing Kenyans to increased cyber attacks and fraud, according to the latest sector statistics report by the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA).

The report covering October to December 2018 shows a dramatic spike in malware attacks, targeting mobile devices and which has seen unsuspecting Kenyans defrauded in online platforms.

In the three months, the National Kenya Computer Incident Response Team – Coordination Centre (National KE-CIRT/CC), detected 10.2 million cyber threats, up from 1.8 million reported in the preceding quarter, nine (9) million of which were Malware attacks.

The National KE-CIRT/CC is a multi-agency collaboration framework and Kenya’s national point of contact on cyber security matters.

‘‘In particular, there was a rise in cases of malware and the sale of stolen data and credentials including personal data and credit card information,’’ notes the report in part.

Additionally, the report notes that cyber criminals are targeting their attacks on end-users who have limited cyber security skills.

During the period, the number of active mobile subscriptions stood at 49.5 million, up from 46.6 million in the previous quarter, representing a growth of by 6.2 per cent.

This has increased the mobile penetration rate to 106.2 per cent. The penetration level of more than 100 per cent is attributed to the multiple SIM cards ownership in the country.

Kenyans also continue to transact more on their mobile phones, with 787.8 million transactions (Person-to-person transfers and withdrawals) registered valued at Kshs 2.1 trillion. In the same vein, there were 586.9 million mobile commerce transactions valued at Kshs 1.8 trillion person-to-person (P2P) transfers amounted to Kshs 731.9 billion.

In the quarter under review, there were 31.6 million and 223,931 total active mobile money subscriptions and agents respectively.

In the data/Internet sector remained on the vibrant path with the total number of active subscriptions registered at 45.7 million, out of which 47.9 per cent were on broadband.

Safaricom registered the highest market share for mobile data subscriptions at 69.5 per cent whereas Airtel Kenya reported 22.4 per cent market share while Telkom Kenya, Finserve Africa and Mobile Pay reported market shares of 7.4, 0.4 and 0.2 per cent respectively.

On the other hand, Wananchi Group registered the highest market share of 38.0 per cent in the fixed data/Internet service providers followed by Safaricom and Jamii Telecom at 29.6 per cent and 13.8 per cent respectively.

The total amount of International Internet Bandwidth utilized in the country during the period under review increased by 16.9 per cent to record 1,142.32 Gbps which accounted for 24.8 per cent of the total Lit capacity.

The total number of Dot KE (.KE) domains increased by 7.7 per cent during the quarter to 83,646 from 77,671 registered in the previous quarter.

In the broadcasting segment, the number of Free-to-Air TV Stations increased by 10.3 per cent to reach 75 stations from 68 stations recorded last quarter. Similarly, digital TV subscriptions rose by 14.9 per cent to 5.7 million. Cable TV recorded a subscriber base of 169,698 marking a growth of 9.2 per cent while direct to Home Satellite and digital Terrestrial Television (STBs) recorded 1.1 million and 4.5 million subscriptions respectively.

The number of postal/courier outlets remained unchanged at 623 and 1,027 respectively, according to the latest CA stats.

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