Africa battles surge of unsolicited content



JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – THE continent is grappling with unwanted push notifications, with suggestions over 100 000 devices are targeted a month.

Such notifications are technically described as potentially unwanted objects, originally meant as a tool for rapid information of users on breaking news but can now be exploited to target shell websites visitors, filling their devices with unsolicited ads and sometimes links to potentially dangerous websites.

Kaspersky Lab revealed Egypt had become the most targeted country with 34 654 targeted users and 302 963 attacks. Figures are for May.

In South Africa, 26 509 users were subjected to unwanted push notifications activity with 181 275 cases.

Kenya follows with 24 388 affected browsers and 158 627 pop-ups and Nigeria with 7 654 and 40 185 devices and detected pushes accordingly.

In addition, users with such issues were detected in Namibia, Rwanda and Ethiopia, with 8 393; 19 883 and 15836 devices respectively.

“We see a continuous increase of a role of programs in a ‘grey zone’ which cannot be classified as a malware, yet cause lots of disturbance and cause difficulties when working on a spammed laptop,” Artemy Ovchinnikov, Kaspersky security expert, said.

The official said since the beginning in 2015, unwanted push notifications had been detected more often and now stood at tens of thousands in some countries.

“The threat is relatively new,” Ovchinnikov said.

Nonetheless, unwanted notifications are easy to get rid of.

“Users do not need specific coding skills to turn them off by themselves by accessing browser settings, or installing a simple security solution on their device,” the expert said.

To avoid receiving notifications or scam ads, users can block all suspicious subscription offers and adopting reliable security solutions.

– CAJ News

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