While users increasingly rely on their mobile devices to share personal data and connect to corporate networks, the number of mobile threat detections particularly in the Middle East, Turkiye, and Africa region increased by 5% in Q2 2023 compared to Q2 2022.
This is according to a new Kaspersky report on mobile cyberthreat dynamics in Q2 2023.
Threat statistics in the report come from Kaspersky solutions running on Android devices. This mobile OS holds a dominant market share in the Middle East, Africa and Turkiye. Apple devices are not immune to cyberthreats (with the Triangulation attack uncovered by Kaspersky as the most recent example), but are difficult to monitor due to OS specifics.
Among the most prevalent mobile threats that were detected in the Middle East, Turkiye and Africa region are adware and mobile banking threats. In Q2 there was a significant rise in adware detections in the region compared to Q2 2022: 94% in Nigeria, 49% in Turkiye, 27% in South Africa, 39% in Kenya, 6% in the Middle East.
Banking trojans, which are used to hunt for data related to online banking and e-payment systems, are another concerning threat for mobile users. Specifically, Turkiye saw twofold increase (102%) in Trojan-Banker detections in Q2 2023 compared to Q2 2022.
“With the growing adoption of smartphones and mobile banking in the Middle East, Turkiye, Africa region, cybercriminals are likely to further increase their targeting of mobile devices,” comments Anton Kivva, Malware Analyst Team Lead at Kaspersky. “We can expect a surge in phishing attacks, mobile malware, and malicious apps disguised as legitimate financial services.
“Cybercriminals will continue to exploit social engineering tactics, such as SMS phishing and voice phishing, to trick mobile users into revealing sensitive information or downloading malicious content. Individuals and organisations in the Middle East, Turkiye, and Africa should prioritise mobile cybersecurity measures, including robust antivirus software, regular updates, user education, and vigilance against social engineering tactics to safeguard their mobile devices and sensitive data.”