64% of South Africans have faced online theft

Almost two thirds of people in South Africa have faced online threats involving attempted money theft, according to a survey by Kaspersky Lab and B2B International.

According to the survey, 64% of users locally faced financial cyber-attacks during 2014, with 10% of respondents reportedly losing money as a result.

When explaining how they lost the money, 14% of respondents in South Africa stated that hackers had stolen their money by gaining access to their payment services accounts, 20% believed they had fallen for fraudsters’ tricks and entered their credentials on a fake website and 8% were sure that their logins and passwords had been intercepted by malware.

The average amount stolen from each user was $190, but one victim in five lost over $1,000 to this type of online fraud.

The quickest way of digging into users’ wallets is to gain access to their accounts for payment systems, online banking or online shops that store bank card data, Kaspersky noted.

During the year, many users’ online accounts – email, social networking, etc. – were hacked. This was reported by 19% of respondents.

In addition to being used by cybercriminals to send spam and malicious URLs, compromised accounts can be a source of financial losses. Information that can be found in a user’s mailbox often includes account credentials sent by payment services and online stores in response to registration and password recovery requests.

Kaspersky’s research found that nearly half (48%) of respondents reported a malware-related incident within the past year, with one incident in five resulting in financial losses.

The average damage caused by malware amounted to $130 including, among other costs, expenses associated with mitigating the consequences of infection, getting help from IT experts and purchasing specialised software.

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64% of South Africans have faced online theft