Fake mobile applications exposing Kenyans to cyber fraud, CA Report

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

The report covering October-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.

There was a rise in cases of malware and the sale of stolen data and credentials including personal data and credit card information says the report. It 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, taking the mobile penetration rate to 106.2 per cent.   

Kenyans also continue to transact more money on their mobile phones, with 787.8 million transactions (Person-to-person transfers and withdrawals) registered valued at KSh.2.1 trillion. In the same vein, there were 586.9 million mobile commerce transactions valued at KSh.1.8 trillion person-to-person (P2P) transfers amounted to KSh.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 PLC registered the highest market share for mobile data subscriptions at 69.5 per cent whereas Airtel Network Limited reported 22.4 per cent market share while Telkom Kenya Limited, Finserve Africa Limited and Mobile Pay Limited reported market shares of 7.4, 0.4 and 0.2 per cent respectively.

On the other hand, Wananchi Companies registered the highest market share of 38.0 per cent in the fixed data/Internet service providers followed by Safaricom PLC and Jamii Telecommunications Limited 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.

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