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Cyber attacks bombard Ethiopia

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Kaspersky Global Research and Analysis Team indicate Ethiopia is becoming a hotbed for cyber attackers.
According to Amin Hasbini, Head of META Research Center –Kaspersky Global Research and Analysis Team, exploits on abuse of software vulnerabilities or weaknesses that are leveraged by attackers to gain unauthorized access, control systems, or execute malicious code are on a rise, through ransomware, a malicious software that encrypts victims’ files or systems, demanding a ransom payment in exchange for the decryption key.
As the analyst enlightened, specifically in April and May 2023, traces from Kaspersky Global Research underground monitoring, pointed out a hacker team called Mysterious Team Bangladesh (MTB) which targeted the online services of at least 10 Ethiopian governmental, energy and banking institutions which distributed denial of service attacks.
Amin indicated that different and varied cyber-attacks have been witnessed in Ethiopia, from traditional cybercriminal gangs, to advanced attacker groups through cloud computing which has targeted the country multiple times in the past few years.
“Some of these attacks were found to be sourced from the region while some were global,” stated Amin.
A data conducted by Kaspersky Global Research showed in 2023 alone, Ethiopia witnessed about 18,000 attacks and 30,000 ransomware.
“These attacks can take down the online services of entities, blocking users and clients from accessing them, sometimes for hours and up to days or week,” Amin elaborated.
Other underground traces pointing to Ethiopian organizations and users being targeted with different kinds of cyber threats, such as ransomware, personal data theft or data leaks, have also been seen.
“Many cyber-attacks stay hidden or go unnoticed, it’s hard to estimate the cost incurred. Every institution can estimate the cost as a result of being cut out of service and/or having data stolen or leaked. The damage is not limited to financial losses, but extends to reputation and impact on critical infrastructure or national security as well,” opined Amin while speaking about Ethiopia’s losses to the ruthless cyber attacks.
Despite the Information Network Security Administration (INSA) indicating that it had responded to 4422 cyber-attacks and attempted attacks in the country during the last nine months of the 2022/23 budget year; gaps were seen as 4,272 were accordingly responded to, while 150 caused damage.
Kaspersky is a Russian multinational cyber-security and anti-virus provider headquartered in Moscow, Russia, and operated by a holding company in the United Kingdom.

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