State-Sponsored Disinformation Campaigns Targeting Africa Driving Instability And Violence

Phishing Top Attack Vector for RansomwareA shocking report shows how email-based disinformation campaigns can have material real-world impacts to the citizens in the targeted countries.

Since most of our intelligence comes from within the IT community, we usually only see the technical implications of phishing, ransomware, malware, etc.

But when a report comes along that analyzes such campaigns and can tie them to tangible outcomes that even include death, it shocks me to my core and makes me want to ensure everyone is aware of the dangerous reality of cyberattacks.

In a new report by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies entitled “Mapping a Surge of Disinformation in Africa," we begin by finding cyber attacks focused on disinformation:

  • Attacks targeted every region spanning 39 countries within Africa
  • Half of the countries were subject to attacks three or more times, with the median number of attacks at five
  • 60% of the attacks are state-sponsored, with Russia, China, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia, and Qatar as the primary sponsors

The following image provides a visual of the state of disinformation attacks in Africa:



The report then delves into the more serious consequences of these attacks:

“There is a strong link between the scope of disinformation and instability. Disinformation campaigns have directly driven deadly violence, promoted and validated military coups, cowed civil society members into silence, and served as smokescreens for corruption and exploitation. This has had real-world consequences for diminishing Africans’ rights, freedoms, and security.”

It’s evident from the report that the impacts of the use of misinformation, impersonation, and social engineering can go much farther than being a nuisance to the user, extra remediation work for a security analyst, or unexpected costs to an organization.

This report also demonstrates that organizations – especially those involved with critical infrastructure – could easily be subject to such campaigns in an effort to destabilize organizations, industries and governments. These organizations need to ensure their users remain at heightened levels of vigilance when interacting with email and the web to mitigate the impacts of such disinformation.

KnowBe4 enables your workforce to make smarter security decisions every day. Over 65,000 organizations worldwide trust the KnowBe4 platform to strengthen their security culture and reduce human risk.

Free Phishing Security Test

Would your users fall for convincing phishing attacks? Take the first step now and find out before bad actors do. Plus, see how you stack up against your peers with phishing Industry Benchmarks. The Phish-prone percentage is usually higher than you expect and is great ammo to get budget.

PST ResultsHere's how it works:

  • Immediately start your test for up to 100 users (no need to talk to anyone)
  • Select from 20+ languages and customize the phishing test template based on your environment
  • Choose the landing page your users see after they click
  • Show users which red flags they missed, or a 404 page
  • Get a PDF emailed to you in 24 hours with your Phish-prone % and charts to share with management
  • See how your organization compares to others in your industry

Go Phishing Now!

PS: Don't like to click on redirected buttons? Cut & Paste this link in your browser:

Subscribe to Our Blog

Comprehensive Anti-Phishing Guide

Get the latest about social engineering

Subscribe to CyberheistNews