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SA users feeling the pinch of malware attacks

By , ITWeb
South Africa , 21 Oct 2015

SA users feeling the pinch of malware attacks

According to an international study conducted by Kaspersky Lab and B2B International, in South Africa 57% of internet user's encountered malicious software during the last year and in 77% of cases, this had a negative impact on users and their devices. Specifically, there is mention of financial loss as a result of attacks.

Global security firm Kasperksy said that malware was most commonly encountered on Windows computers – with 83% of all Windows users stating that they had been affected in the last 12 months.

"However, Android and Mac OS X users were not immune, with 13% and 6% citing infections on their devices, respectively," the company added.

Statistics from the report indicate that locally, 14% of users believe their device was infected after visiting a suspicious website; and 19% stated they become infected because they used someone else's USB flash drive, and 8% believe a malicious app disguised as a legitimate programmme, was installed.

"Yet another 8% of South African's surveyed said their devices were infected after opening an email attachment. The greater part of those polled, 19%, could not explain how malware ended up on their device," Kaspersky stated.

According to the report four out of five infections caused problems for those affected. Most often (46% of cases) users noticed computer performance slowed down, 43% of respondents experienced obtrusive advertising (e.g. the browser redirected them to unwanted websites) and 32% of those surveyed found unsolicited programmes on their devices.

Kaspersky explained that 33% of local user's experienced financial losses as a result of malware infection.

"As well as having to pay a ransom to criminals, victims spent money on restoring a device or data, on software to eliminate the effects of an infection, and some even had to buy a replacement device. When financial losses were incurred, the average cost of an attack amounted to R130," the company stated.

"The costs and unpleasant effects of a malware infection can be avoided with a little prudence. For instance, do not insert unverified USB sticks in a device, only use official app stores, keep the operating system and applications up to date and scan files with a security solution before opening them. The ability to foresee potential problems and take precautions is the key to staying safe," explains Elena Kharchenko, Head of Consumer Product Management, Kaspersky Lab.

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