Rabat - Sophos, a network and endpoint analysis organization, revealed research on Wednesday indicating a growing trend among cybercriminals to target, as well as filter out, certain countries including Morocco.
Rabat – Sophos, a network and endpoint analysis organization, revealed research on Wednesday indicating a growing trend among cybercriminals to target, as well as filter out, certain countries including Morocco.
Sophos researchers discovered cyber attackers crafting spam that delivers malware in regional dialects, brands and payment methods for increased cultural compatibility.
Analysis of data from millions of endpoints worldwide revealed that cyber criminals are increasingly designing country-specific attacks to trick victims into downloading malware.
The network security organization ranked Morocco among many other African countries with an average threat level for cyber-attacks during the first three months of 2016.
In the African countries, Morocco ranked in the middle with 16.6 percent of the cyber-attack threats, while Malawi (39.4 percent), Zambia (35.5 percent) and Algeria (30.7 percent) topped the list of African countries where the highest percentage of endpoints were exposed to malware attacks.
“You have to look harder to distinguish fake emails from real ones,” said Chester Wisniewski, senior security advisor at Sophos. “Being aware of the tactics used in your region is becoming an important aspect of security.”
The research said that the cybercriminals are attacking computers using ransomware, a type of malware that restricts access to the infected computer system and demands the user to pay a ransom to the malware operators in exchange for removing the restriction.
According to the research, versions of Cryp to Wall, a family of file-encrypting ransomware, predominantly hit victims in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia, Germany and France; Torrent Locker attacked primarily the U.K., Italy, Australia and Spain; and TeslaCrypt honed in on the U.K., U.S., Canada, Singapore and Thailand.
The analysis also showed that Western economies have lower Threat Exposure Rates (TER) despite the fact that they are more frequently targeted. Countries with the lowest TER include France at 5.2 percent, Canada at 4.6 percent, Australia at 4.1 percent, the U.S. at 3 percent, and the U.K. at 2.8 percent.