Cyber Attack: Nigeria Named among World’s Highest Risk Countries

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Obinna Chima
Nigeria and four other African countries have been listed among the world’s highest risk countries in the latest Global Threat Impact Index released for May 2017, released by Check Point Software Technologies Limited.

According to the report obtained on Monday, Zambia has the highest risk profile, with Nigeria in second position. Uganda, Malawi and South African were ranked 7th, 8th and 9th respectively.

The report stated that South Africa in particular, demonstrated a significant jump in ranking, having moved up from 22nd position since last month.
The index also revealed that more than one in four organisations globally was affected by the Fireball or WannaCry attacks in May.

“Two of the top three malware families that impacted networks globally were zero-day, previously unseen attacks. Fireball impacted one in five organisations worldwide, with second-placed RoughTed impacting 16 per cent and third-placed WannaCry affecting nearly eight per cent of organisations globally.

“The two malware variants, Fireball and WannaCry, rapidly spread worldwide throughout the month of May. The most prevalent malware highlight the wide range of attack vectors and targets cyber-criminals are utilising, impacting all stages of the infection chain. Fireball takes over target browsers and turns them into zombies, which it can then use for a wide range of actions including dropping additional malware, or stealing valuable credentials.

“By contrast, RoughTed is a large-scale malvertising campaign, and WannaCry takes advantage of a Windows SMB exploit called EternalBlue in order to propagate within and between networks. WannaCry was particularly high profile, bringing down a myriad of networks worldwide,” the report added.

In addition to the top three, there were also other new variants of malware seen within the top 10 of the index including Jaff (8th) another form of ransomware, demonstrating how profitable this particular attack vector is proving for malicious parties.

Commenting on the report, Area Manager for East and West Africa at Check Point Software Technologies, Rick Rogers, noted that seeing so many brand-new malware families among the world’s most prevalent cyberattacks this month underlined just how innovative cybercriminals could be, adding that it was dangerous for organisations to become complacent.

“Organisations need to remember that the financial impact from cyber- attacks goes way beyond the initial incident. Restoring key services and repairing reputational damage can be a very long and expensive process.

“As such, organisations in every industry sector need a multi-layered approach to their cybersecurity. Our SandBlast¢â Zero-Day Protection and Mobile Threat Prevention, for example, protect against the widest range of continually evolving attack types, and also protect against zero-day malware variants,” Rogers added.

Check Point’s Global Threat Impact Index and its ThreatCloud Map is powered by Check Point’s ThreatCloud intelligence, the largest collaborative network to fight cybercrime which delivers threat data and attack trends from a global network of threat sensors. The ThreatCloud database holds over 250 million addresses analysed for bot discovery, more than 11 million malware signatures and over 5.5 million infected websites, and identifies millions of malware types daily.