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Africa Challenged with New Internet Security Problems

According to the senior lecturer at the department of computer science of Rhodes University in South Africa, Barry Irwin, with Africa experiencing an explosion in bandwidth and a paucity of awareness about Web security, botnet-operators and cyber-criminals are showing a growing interest in the continent's ISPs, As per the news published by ITWeb on March 29, 2010.

Irwin further adds that in the coming few years, the greatest confrontations that African countries will face are tackling cyber-crime activities as well as spreading knowledge among the public about online security. According to him, people just connecting to bandwidth will be especially falling prey to attacks like phishing.

Besides, according to the experts, Africa is experiencing an escalated cyber-crime at a speed faster in comparison to that of other continents across the globe. They compute that in Africa, 80% of the computers are by now contaminated with viruses and other malware.

Furthermore, according to the researcher, increased bandwidth will lead to a rise in Internet attacks against South Africans, particularly because of the upcoming FIFA Soccer World Cup. Scam e-mails, displaying headers such as "South African 2010 lottery award" and "FIFA World Cup lottery," are already being circulated. Thus, it's important that people are educated about these.

In this context, cyber-security experts anticipated that people's increasing access to the Internet would lead to a global transformation of Africa's malware and virus problems. As increasing number of users obtain the facilities of Internet usage and more quickly too, it'll become possible to transfer databases in larger volumes. Increased spam e-mails reaching Africa's inboxes will just be the beginning.

Disturbingly, a majority of African countries, except SA and Egypt, do not have the appropriate laws and legal infrastructure with which to at least prosecute the rapid perpetrators of cyber-crime. Also, there isn't enough harmonization among countries regarding the ways to enhance cyber-security.

On these lines, Irwin said that it's necessary to educate African ISPs and telcos on the ways for dealing with spam, phishing and DOS attacks. He added that since ISPs and telco-operators form the basis in the battle against these threats, it's important that their workforce is adequately informed and trained.

Related article: Africa to Face More Cyber Attacks in 2010

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