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Relatively few ‘targeted’ cyber attacks originated from African IPs in 2011, but threat still exists

June 20, 2012  »  StatisticsOne Comment

Tucked away on page 19 of Symantec’s annual Internet Security Threat Report is a graphic depicting the IP location of all targeted cyber attacks in 2011. In general, attacks came from very few African nations – 7 to be exact. IPs associated with Tunisia, Egypt, Nigeria, Congo-Brazzavile, Kenya, and South Africa participated in at least one global attack over the course of the year.

As the report reminds us, the IP addresses don’t necessarily represent the location of the perpetrators. They can simple be used to mask the true location of the attacker. A geographical distribution of attacking machines’ IP addresses for all targeted attacks is below:

Symantec IP Attack Locations - 2011

Geographical Locations Of Attackers' IP Addresses for 2011. {Symantec}

Additionally, many Nigerian news outlets, including BusinessDay, mention that Symantec has ranked Nigeria 59th on its latest internet security report. Nigeria ranked 66th position at the same period in 2011. Sheldon Hand, Territory Manager, Symantec Pty Limited in-charge of Indian Ocean Islands, West, East and Central Africa (IWECA), cites the reasons why Nigeria has become more of a threat to security and also more vulnerable to attacks at the same time. He cites the growing economy, greater undersea bandwidth, and an explosion in the number of mobile devices.

Of course, plenty of cyber crimes still occur even if they aren’t classified as “targeted attacks” by Symantec. A recent Mashable infographic lists Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon, and South Africa as generating a collective 7% of global cyber crimes.