Computer hacking — Kenya in the bullseye


A report by Serianu, a Kenyan cybersecurity consulting company, states that six years ago, the total cost of cybercrime in Africa was estimated to be $3.5 billion.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

No matter how it happens, computer system hacking is a significant and rapidly expanding industry.

A report by Serianu, a Kenyan cybersecurity consulting company, states that six years ago, the total cost of cybercrime in Africa was estimated to be $3.5 billion. According to the report, Nigeria, Kenya, and Ghana are the top three African nations with the highest cyber threats.

Hacking is harrowing. For instance, the government of Mauritius experienced a severe cyberattack in 2019 that harmed a number of government websites and systems. During a cyberattack in 2020, the Ethiopian government's internet services were down for several days.

South Africa experienced 230 million cyberattacks between January 2020 and February 2021, while Kenya and Morocco saw 72 million and 71 million, respectively.

Despite the rising concerns about cybersecurity in Africa, many nations still require more infrastructure and resources to effectively combat cyber threats. This includes a lack of qualified cybersecurity professionals, inadequate legal protections, and insufficient funding for cybersecurity initiatives.

Due to the possibility of a sizable reward or access to priceless data, large businesses are frequently the most alluring targets for cyber attackers. These organizations might also have IT infrastructures that are more complex, which makes them more susceptible to cyberattacks.

Prime targets

Due to the sensitive information they hold, financial institutions like banks and insurance companies are also prime targets.

Nation-state actors or malicious organizations frequently target government organizations, including national security and defense organizations. Cyber attackers may try to sabotage official businesses or engage in espionage.

Due to their valuable personal health information, healthcare providers are also frequently targeted. Patients' data may be stolen, medical services may be interfered with, or ransomware attacks may be launched by cybercriminals.

Hackers are that they are persistent: They may spend hours, days, or even weeks trying to breach a system or network, constantly adapting their approach until they succeed. They have a keen eye for detail and can spot vulnerabilities others may overlook.

It is important to note that while some hackers may engage in malicious activities, others may use their skills and knowledge for ethical purposes, such as identifying and addressing vulnerabilities in systems and networks to improve security.

Ethical and unethical hackers use the same tools but with different intentions. For example, password-cracking tools can crack weak or easy-to-guess passwords. However, using such tools to crack passwords without authorization is illegal and can have serious consequences.

It's crucial to practice ethical hacking techniques in secure settings first, such as test networks, virtual labs, or simulated environments. This will enable you to develop your abilities and gain experience without endangering actual systems.

Always follow the law and uphold the highest ethical standards. Working unethically can get you into a lot of trouble, including having your travel to some countries prohibited.

Mr Wambugu is an accredited expert in cloud and cyber security. Email: [email protected] Twitter: @Samwambugu2