Africa’s industrial computers under siege


Cyber security

JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – ETHIOPIA experienced the most attacks of industrial control system (ICS) computers in the continent last year.

Cyber criminals used malware to perpetrate the attacks.

Throughout 2022, some 40 percent ICS computers globally were attacked.

In Africa, the figure sits at 47 percent, according to Kaspersky ICS Emergency Response Team.

For countries monitored on the African continent, the three countries which experienced the most attacks on ICS infrastructure were Ethiopia (62 percent), Algeria (59 percent), and Burundi (57 percent).

Among others, they are followed by Rwanda (46 percent), Kenya (41 percent), Nigeria and Zimbabwe (both 40 percent), Ghana (39 percent), Zambia (38 percent) and South Africa and Uganda (both 36 percent).

This shows a high growth threat landscape in Africa.

“One infected USB drive or a single spear-phishing email is all it takes for cyber criminals to bridge the air gap and penetrate an isolated ICS network,” said Brandon Muller, Kaspersky tech expert and consultant in the Middle East and African region.

He said traditional security is not adequate to protect industrial environments from rapidly evolving cyber threats.

“As attacks against critical infrastructure increase, choosing the right approach to secure systems has never been more important,” Muller said.

ICS is defined as a collection of personnel, hardware and software that can affect or influence the safe, secure and reliable operation of an industrial process.

Mines are seen as hotbeds for potential attacks especially at a time when Industry 4.0 digital technologies link key operational systems to data analytics and cloud environments.

Mines are confronted by escalating cyber security threats but lack the in-house skills to adequately protect their operational technology (OT) and ICS environments.

– CAJ News


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