Ghana, Nigeria and South Africa listed as top cybercrime hotspots in Africa


    In a recent report published by the World Cybercrime Index, which identifies the globe’s key cybercrime hotspots, three African countries Ghana, Nigeria and South Africa debuted on the list of top 20 cybercrime hotspots.

    The data that underpins the index was gathered through a survey of 92 leading cybercrime experts from around the world who are involved in cybercrime intelligence gathering and investigations.

    The experts identified five key categories by which the study was assessed. These include;

    •  Technical products/services (e.g. malware coding, botnet access, access to compromised systems, and tool production).
    • Attacks and extortion (e.g. denial-of-service attacks, ransomware).
    • Data/identity theft (e.g. hacking, phishing, account compromises, credit card comprises).
    • ”Scams (e.g. advance fee fraud, business email compromise, online auction fraud).
    • Cashing out/money laundering (e.g. credit card fraud, money mules, illicit virtual currency platforms).

    On the list, Nigeria occupied the 5th position, Ghana 13th position, and closely followed by South Africa which occupied the 14th position. Overall, Russia tops the list, followed by Ukraine, China and the USA.

    Speaking on the report, co-author of the study Dr Miranda Bruce said it was released to enable the public and private sectors to focus their resources on key cybercrime hubs and spend less time and funds on cybercrime countermeasures in countries where the problem is not as significant.

    “By continuing to collect this data, we will be able to monitor the emergence of any new hotspots and it is possible early interventions could be made in at-risk countries before a serious cybercrime problem even develops”, she added.

    Also speaking, Co-author Associate Professor Jonathan Lusthaus, from the University of Oxford’s Department of Sociology and Oxford School of Global and Area Studies, said cybercrime has largely been an invisible phenomenon because offenders often mask their physical locations by hiding behind fake profiles and technical protections.

    In his words,

    “Due to the illicit and anonymous nature of their activities, cybercriminals cannot be easily accessed or reliably surveyed. They are actively hiding. If you try to use technical data to map their locatión, you will also fail, as cybercriminals bounce their attacks around internet infrastructure across the world. The best means we have to draw a picture of where these offenders are actually located’ is to survey those whose job it is to track these people”.

    Furthermore, the authors of the report noted that the next stage of the survey is to figure out why some countries are cybercrime hotspots, and others aren’t, adding that there are existing theories about why some countries have become hubs of cybercriminal activity.


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