This Week In Tech by Nosa Alekhuogie

This Week In Tech by Nosa Alekhuogie

Tech Personality of The Week

Adeola is the CEO and founder of Famasi Africa, where she leads a team that manages recurrent medication needs for Africans. With over six years working in different sectors of pharmacy (retail, hospital and supply chain), she has experienced the problems people with recurrent medications face. In her last official capacity at the Quality Rx Unit of mPharma, she worked on facilitating access to medications in retail pharmacies.
Famasi is a Nigerian e-health startup that began as a medication management service but has expanded its vision to build pharmacy infrastructure to scale digital health.
The online pharmacy was launched in September 2021 and delivered medications as monthly or quarterly ‘plans’ to its customers. However, the health tech startup started to roll out non-chronic plans like menstrual care and sexual health during its beta.
In February, the company secured an undisclosed pre-seed round to build the pharmacy infrastructure for African digital healthcare.
The startup is set to onboard over 35,000 customers from its pipeline and grow its providers from 229 to 1,000 by the end of 2023.
The Nigeria-based Famasi Africa joins the concise list of health techs, including mPharma, with a promise to improve medication access.

Flutterwave Hacked, N2.9bn Stolen from Account  
On February 13, 2023, African fintech unicorn, Flutterwave, experienced an attack by hackers who illegally transferred N2.9 billion ($4Million) from their accounts.
The hack was reported to the police by Flutterwave’s legal counsel, Albert Onimole, on February 19, 2023. It was revealed that the money was initially transferred to 28 accounts in 63 transactions, and some of the commercial banks allowed the money to be transferred to other accounts, making it difficult to trace.
Flutterwave’s legal counsel filed a suit in the Magistrate Court of Lagos, requesting that accounts in 27 financial institutions in Nigeria  be frozen, including Access Bank, Providus Bank, KudaBank, PiggyVest,Zenith Bank, e.t.c.

According to Flutterwave, some commercial banks allowed the money to be moved to other accounts, widening the money trail.
To investigate accounts holding the stolen funds across various financial institutions in Nigeria, S.A. Adedesin, Legal Officer, State CID, Panti, Yaba, Lagos, filed a suit in the Magistrate Court of Lagos (Yaba Magisterial District sitting at Yaba) to support Flutterwave’s claims,with the Commissioner of Police named as the plaintiff.
While there are no documents to confirm if the court has ruled in favour of Inspector Micheal’s motion, some people have confirmed that their accounts have been frozen in connection to the hack.
A Twitter user said, “I got a mail from my bank saying I’m a 4th beneficiary to this acclaimed fraud money. This was after over five days after a successful trade. My account is locked, I can’t access fund inside. Pls is this right? It’s unfair I have zero business with flutter wave or the hack.”

Report: 8.7% of African Internet Users Experienced Phishing Attacks Last Year
Kaspersky experts have discovered that throughout 2022 cybercriminals increasingly turned to phishing attacks.
In a report by Kaspersky’s SecureList, the anti-phishing system prevented more than 500 million attempts at accessing fraudulent websites globally in 2022.
The company’s anti-phishing system successfully blocked 507,851,735 attempts to access fraudulent content globally, twice the number of attacks thwarted in 2021.
In Africa, 8.7 per cent of individuals and corporate users were affected by phishing attacks on their devices which were detected and stopped. In Nigeria, the share of users affected by phishing stands at 7 per cent, followed by Kenya at 8.4 per cent and South Africa at 9.7 per cent.
The sphere most frequently targeted with phishing attacks was delivery services. Fraudsters send fake emails pretending to be from well-known delivery companies and claim there is a delivery issue.

The email includes a link to a fake website asking for personal information or financial details. If the victim falls for the fraud, they could lose their identity and banking information, which may be sold to websites on the dark web.
With financial phishing, the most targeted categories were online stores and financial services.
Among the financial phishing attempts in Nigeria, 31.1 per cent were through websites of fake payment systems, 51.2 per cent through fake online stores and 17.8 per cent through fake online bank portals.
In South Africa, 15.4 per cent were through websites of fake payment systems, 68.4 per cent through fake online stores and 16.2 per cent through fake online bank portals.

In Kenya, 22.5 per cent were through websites of fake payment systems, 54.9 per cent through fake online stores and 22.6 per cent through fake online bank portals.
There is also growing demand among cybercriminals for social media credentials, with criminals exploiting people’s curiosity and desire for privacy by offering fake updates and verified account statuses on social media platforms.
Moreover, the experts found that cryptocurrency scams and market events, like the pandemic, are still being used by phishing attackers to steal sensitive information from people who are worried.

Moove Drivers Protest over High Costs of Operations
Recently, app-based drivers registered under mobility fintech, Moove, in partnership with Uber, have been protesting in Lagos.
They have since been operating in the Uber Go Category, a cheaper ride-hailing option.
However, the demonstrations are ongoing, majorly because of what it costs to rent and drive on the Moove assembly line.
Moove rents out the cars to the drivers in a hire purchase model, where the drivers would become the owners of the cars after paying the value that the company determines. Although the Suzuki vehicles used in the Uber Go category typically sell for $12,900 (N6 million) outside Nigeria, Moove rents them out to the drivers for $25,450 ( N11.7 million). At a daily remittance rate of N9,400, a driver would take 41 months (three years and five months) to complete their payments.

According to reports gotten from drivers, it used to cost N8 million to acquire higher-purchase vehicles via the platform. But the company was reported to have revised it to around N12 million. Nonetheless, Moove maintains that there have been no changes to the pricing.
Typically, Moove gives its drivers either a Suzuki S-Presso or an Alto, which ordinarily retail at N7.6 million and N9.9 million, respectively.
Most of these taxis are used for rides on Uber Go, which on its part, requires drivers to pay N9,400 ($20) daily. The e-hailing platform also requires them to complete twelve rides within six days every week.

Some vehicles rented from Moove are fairly used, yet drivers are mandated to repay sums that trump the costs of buying them brand new.
In a statement,Moove said,“All mobility entrepreneurs across Nigeria, including our very own Moove customers who earn their living operating vehicles that we have empowered them with, are even more adversely affected due to the number of working hours spent queuing for fuel rather than being on the road and earning money.”

iPhone Users to Begin Sending iMessages from PCs
iPhone users can now send and receive messages, calls, and notifications directly on their PC.
By utilising the updated Phone Link desktop application developed by Microsoft, it is pre-installed on Windows PCs and was previously only available for Android users to synchronise their phones to their laptops.
The app only supports basic messaging and calling and does not allow group messaging or sending media. Despite being unable to share photos on the Phone Link, iCloud Photos is already integrated into the Windows 11 photos app.

The latest Windows 11 update enables iPhone users to establish seamless connectivity between their smartphone and laptop.
In a blog post, Microsoft said it was launching the preview first to a limited percentage of “insiders”, implying that not all “insiders” will have access to the preview immediately. But it noted that based on feedback, it would gradually expand the availability of the preview to more “insiders.”
Android users have had access to Phone Link for some time, and Microsoft announced an “even richer experience” for those users, including the option to “easily transfer” browser sessions from their Samsung phone to their Windows device.

The Phone Link application provides basic support for iOS, including calls, messages, and contacts. It enables users to receive notifications directly via Windows notifications, but the experience may not be seamless. Microsoft has stated that Phone Link for iOS does not offer features like sending media messages or replying to group messages.
According to Microsoft, the Windows system exchanges messages via Bluetooth, and Apple transforms them into iMessage if the recipient uses an iPhone. The enhanced Phone Link application will not provide a complete conversation history nor indicate blue or green bubbles. It also will not exhibit photos saved on iPhones, unlike Android phones linked to the PC.

Snapchat Launches Own AI Chatbot
Snapchat launched a new chatbot this week that operates off the latest version of OpenAI’s ChatGPT technology.
According to a statement by Snapchat, the chatbot named My AI can recommend gift ideas for friends, plan trips, suggest recipes, and write personalised poems.
Snapchat is just one of many companies jumping on the AI bandwagon. Executives from companies like Microsoft, Google, Nvidia and Meta have made similar announcements to start implementing large AI models.

However, in announcing the release, Snapchat did offer a warning.
“As with all AI-powered chatbots, My AI is prone to hallucination and can be tricked into saying just about anything,” the Snapchat statement said. “Please be aware of its many deficiencies, and sorry in advance!”
The company said conversations users have with My AI will be stored and reviewed for improvements but said not to share secrets or rely on advice it may give.
Initially, the chatbot is only available to Snapchat+ subscribers who pay $3.99 monthly. The company hopes to eventually make the feature available to all its active users in the future.

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