Fraud tops cybercrime in Africa

May 4, 2016

After watching Russian Grand Prix on Sunday, I was so disappointed with Baby Schumi incident that I felt an urgent ‘tech jargon’ chat would help lower sorrow.The closest bloke to engage was my blud who is working with a Cyber Security firm in one of the European countries with focus on Africa, Middle East and Europe.As always, my ancestral continent matters are always appetising.He started by sharing with me latest data on most common Cyber crime activities in Africa.And just like case in the last two years, fraud remain the number one cybercrime in Africa according to CyberSecurity expert. The data is based on reports received by the computer emergency response centres that have been set up across African continent. The blud told your blogger that a recent survey found that East African countries of Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania spend an average of 25 hours a week online adding that the more time they spend online, the higher the risk of them becoming a victim of cybercrime.Luckily he shared with me a copy of their research and was astonished to what extent average African with internet access is spending online despite the relatively higher charges of data.

Even if a person in Africa spends just two hours a week on the Internet, the chances of him or her becoming a victim of cybercrime are about 75%.Therefore, according to him, it is not a matter of ‘will you become a victim of cybercrime’ but ‘when you will become a victim of cybercrime’,” he told me while smiling. But as a person with extensive experience in Cyber crime, I was of the idea that to avoid becoming a victim, an individual must increase the level of awareness on security like never taking it easy on the need to update computer antivirus. During our talk, I learned that CyberSecurity companies have introduced programmes to increase awareness on cybersecurity and educate Internet users in Africa on how to protect ­themselves from cyber crime. Other cybercrimes reported included cyber harassment, ­denial of service, intrusion, and others which are content related.Kenya and South Africa are the countries where denial of services is common, while in Ethiopia intrusion is the order of the day.The number of cyber crimes per country has increased, with an average of 8,000 cases reported in the first quarter of 2016.My blud told me that these included various types of cyber crimes, with the highest incidences involving online scams and the rest involving hacking information systems of organisations.By the time we reached this level, events at Sochi had already gone out of my mind.

It was very difficult why Mercedes would screw up Lewis Hamilton car and more irritating why Ferrari is bottling it up in almost every race since Melbourne opener in March.As we wound up, ‘fellow coding dinosaur’ revealed to me that there is a trend in Africa which show that the total amount of loses through cyber crimes could exceed traditional crimes by the end of 2016.And shockingly, only five per cent of cyber crime cases were solved last year through forensics expert services in Sub Saharan Africa with main role in such cases being to gather all important data.I was delighted to see how him and others in the industry are specialising in research and development of cyber technology and digital forensics.Of cause that means business for ageing coding dinosaurs like me to help them build forensic tools.His efforts in developing data highway analysis technology and expertise in existing cyber infrastructure left me in awe.In coming months, he will be able to provide data highway training and collaborate to produce about thirty doctorate graduates for the industry in East, Southern and West African regions.Although he invited me, my commitments with other projects means I will not join a team of intellectuals development including allowing the use of physical facilities and laboratory at their premises this summer.Overall, the talk helped me forget events in Sochi earlier that afternoon…thanks to my fellow coding dinosaur.

Contador Harrison