Rock Adote, head, Information Technology (Security & Research), International Electronics Services Limited (I.E.S) has said that most corporate organization in the country do not comply with proper patch management leaving them vulnerable to attacks on the information superhighway.
He also decried the reluctance of companies in Nigeria to perform routine upgrade.
“First, till now, it is sad to know that bank employees, for instance, who handle critical information assets of customers such as card information and account details, still fall for low-level cyber attacks such as digital impersonation and social engineering.
“Organizations do not invest in regular staff training as they ought to do enough. For instance, several studies have revealed that production employees often disclose their place of work on social media websites, accept unknown invitations, share customers personal information during discussions in online chat rooms, even reveal their operating systems architecture, internet address and a bevy of unethical engagements in the cyber space.
“Let me give you a common error predominant in Nigeria banks, a cyber criminal can gain tons of information and perform active reconnaissance by simply entering a bank and view the system of the cashier or the operator, by standing or sitting adjacent to the computer, even in these era where the default “autorun vulnerability” on Microsoft windows proliferates malware infection and tons of systems vulnerabilities, an articulate cyber criminal could simply insert a well-built information-stealing USB drive into a banking system and perform command-line background transfer of critical software and customers information from default system paths such as the two windows and internet temp directory because the store data as it is been processed, and even the system root.
“This highlights the problem of unorganised architecture and lack of safe computing practices as every well-informed banking staff is expected to lock the computer screen when he or she is not on seat, many people don’t do this, forgetting that every customer who enters a bank is on a mission. No third party should even know the operating system you are using not to talk about the application name.
“Some people are yet to understand that the trend in cyber threats have grown beyond computer malware. Another instance is that, if a system is compromised, it is a common practice in this part of the world for the system administrators to install an anti-virus, and scan the system. Thus, as a malware is detected you say all is well. I have been at least in six companies that the activities at their production line were moving on well, but on critical assessment I discovered that the systems have been “totally compromised” even by malicious insiders.
“People always believe that as long as they can type a document, print, browse, send or receive requests then their systems are in good shape. Meanwhile your system is part of a botnet that infects other workstations, with no user interaction of any kind, because these trojans do not inform you when or how they are operating, they send your critical data in bits. No operating system can claim to be secure or water-tight, the best defense is self, because the use of anti-malware program only complements as a layer of baseline security, there must be operational guidance”.
He added that in recent times, several companies have made upgrade compulsory every two weeks due to the vulnerabilities landscape.
“The worst is that the attacks occur so fast that there are presently no industry existing solutions to thwart novel sophisticated attacks. For instance, even though it will affect global customer satisfaction, Google Gmail would refuse software to be uploaded as an attachment in order to protect its entire information systems.
“A rising cyber attack vector is a situation when a cyber criminal sends curriculum vitae in .docx or .pdf to a company and on the process of opening the file the receiving system gets compromised, as the cyber criminal becomes able of implementing remote code execution on the compromised workstation”.
The cyber security expert pointed out that cyber criminals have the time, resources and skills to invest in research, which calls for Nigeria to establish a “Cyber Security Research Community” that has ample time; “it is just like the secure software development life cycle. If as a developer, you fail to comply with secure software development practices you will have applications that hackers will eat up”.
Join Inlaks Live TechTalk Edition on Hyosung’s Revolutionary MV 100 ATM Model
Inlaks, the leading Information Technology Systems Integrator specialised in the deployment of highly scalable ICT Infrastructure solutions, will on Monday September 28, deploy the second edition of its virtual thought leadership segment called “TechTalk”.
Techtalk which was formerly a pre-recorded segment hosted on the organisations YouTube channel has now transitioned into a live virtual event across Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. The virtual edition kicked off in August 2020 with a segment on Financial Crime Mitigation, honing in on the superiority of Temenos Financial Crime Mitigation Solution with Emmanuel Orororo, Sales Manager, Financial Business, Inlaks.
The 2nd edition of Tech Talk promises to offer the same measure of insights as it dives into the world of Automated Teller Machines (ATM) with a focus on MoniValue 100, a revolutionary ATM solution by Hyosung TNS. The MoniValue 100 is especially adapted to the present times as it is a cardless, contactless and changeless solution.
Join this virtual event live by logging on to any of the social media pages below on Monday, 28th September 2020. YouTube: Inlaks, Facebook: InlaksNg, Twitter: Inlaks, Instagram: InlaksNg
Inlaks is a leading system integrator in Sub-Saharan Africa. The company partners with leading OEMs in the technology industry to provide world-class information technology solutions that exceed the needs of its customers.
Over the years, Inlaks has built a reputation as the foremost ICT and Infrastructure Solutions Provider, helping customers effectively seize new market and service opportunities.
With an impressive customer base that includes six Central Banks in West Africa, 18 of the 24 banks in Nigeria and other major customers in the West African region, Inlaks has become the dominant Information Technology Company in Africa.
Inlaks’ customers cut across various segments including Banking, Telecommunication, Oil/Gas, Power, Utilities and the Distribution sectors of the economy. For more information, please visit www.inlaks.com
Millions of Cyber Attacks Launched on Nigeria, Others- Reports
There were 3.8 million malware attacks and 16.8 million Potentially Unwanted Applications (PUA) detections over a 7-month period in Nigeria, according to Kaspersky security solutions.
Elsewhere in South Africa, there were almost 10 million malware attacks and a staggering 43 million PUA detections, showing the growing desperation of the attacks.
The company reported on 28 million malware attacks in 2020 and 102 million detections of potentially unwanted programs (pornware, adware etc.) accounted for by the beginning of August 2020.
These numbers show that it’s not only the malware that attacks users but also the “grey zone” programmes that grow in popularity and disturb their experiences, while users might not even know it is there.
Potentially unwanted applications (PUAs) are programmes that are usually not considered to be malicious by themselves.
However, they are generally influencing user experience in a negative way. For instance, adware fills user device with ads; aggressive monetising software propagates unrequested paid offers; downloaders may download even more various applications on the device, sometimes malicious ones.
calculating interim results of threat landscape activity in African countries, Kaspersky researchers noticed that PUAs attack users almost four times more often than traditional malware.
They also eventually reach more users: for instance, while in South Africa, the malware would attack 415,000 users in 7-months of 2020, the figure for PUA would be 736,000.
“The reason why ‘grey zone’ software is growing in popularity is that it is harder to notice at first and that if the programme is detected, its creators won’t be considered to be cybercriminals. The problem with them is that users are not always aware they consented to the installation of such programmes on their device and that in some cases, such programmes are exploited or used as a disguise for malware downloads,” said Denis Parinov, a security researcher at Kaspersky.
By taking a closer look at PUA, it becomes apparent that they are not only more widespread but also more potent than traditional malware.
Evaluating results over the same 7-month period in Nigeria, there were 3.8 million malware attacks and 16.8 million PUA detections – which is four times as much.
Kenyan and South African threat landscapes have been more intense. In South Africa, there were almost 10 million malware attacks and a staggering 43 million PUA detections.
Kenyan users faced even more malware attacks – around 14 million, and 41 million PUA appearances, Kaspersky said.
Tech Giants Strike Deal with Advertisers over Hate Speech
Web giants including Facebook have struck a deal with advertisers on how to identify harmful content such as hate speech, after an impasse over the issue which led to boycotts of the platform.
The agreement — which also included Twitter and YouTube — laid out for the first time a common set of definitions for hateful statements online.
In July, hundreds of advertisers including big-name consumer brands suspended advertising with Facebook as part of the #StopHateForProfit campaign, saying the social-media titan should do more to stamp out hatred and misinformation on its platform.
And earlier this month a group of celebrities — including Kim Kardashian, Leonardo DiCaprio and Katy Perry — stopped using Facebook and Instagram for 24 hours, to push a similar message.
The World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) said in a statement Wednesday: “Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, in collaboration with marketers and agencies through the Global Alliance for Responsible Media have agreed to adopt a common set of definitions for hate speech and other harmful content and to collaborate with a view to monitoring industry efforts to improve in this critical area.”
The alliance was founded by the WFA and includes other major trade bodies.
According to the WFA, key areas of agreement included applying the alliance’s common definitions of harmful content; developing reporting standards for such content; establishing independent oversight; and rolling out tools for keeping advertisements away from harmful content.
The WFA said that properly defining online hate speech would remove the current problem of different platforms using their own definitions, which it said made it difficult for companies to decide where to put their ads.
“As funders of the online ecosystem, advertisers have a critical role to play in driving positive change and we are pleased to have reached agreement with the platforms on an action plan and timeline in order to make the necessary improvements,” said Stephan Loerke, chief executive of the WFA.
Luis Di Como, executive vice-president of global media at Unilever, a major advertiser, sounded a note of cautious optimism.
He said: “The issues within the online ecosystem are complicated, and whilst change doesn’t happen overnight, today marks an important step in the right direction.”
Speaking in July, Facebook’s founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said he remained adamant that the company did not want hate speech on the social network.
On Wednesday, the company’s vice-president for global marketing solutions, Carolyn Everson, said the agreement gave all parties “a unified language to move forward on the fight against hate online.”
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