MFA fatigue attacks on rise, report reveals

Acronis’ latest cyberthreats and trends report for the second half of 2022 has found that phishing and the use of MFA fatigue attacks are on the rise.

Multi-factor Authentication (MFA) fatigue attacks are an extremely effective method of cyberattack used in high-profile breaches. This social engineering cyberattack strategy sees the attacker repeatedly push second-factor authentication requests to the victim’s email, phone or other registered device.

Ranked as the sixth-most dense region for cybercrime in the world, cybercrime victims in South Africa surged from 14.1 victims per one million internet users in 2019 to 50.8 victims in 2020. Most recently, the country enacted its cybersecurity act, which clearly defines cybercrimes in a bid to effectively regulate and prosecute them.

In Kenya and Nigeria, financial phishing attempts rose significantly in Q1 and Q2 of 2022 as banks, online payment systems, and e-commerce websites were targeted. In Kenya, over 100,000 financial phishing attacks were detected – a 201% increase compared to Q1 and Nigeria has reported over 61,000 financial phishing attacks, representing an increase of 79% compared to Q1.

The report was conducted by Acronis’ Cyber Protection Operation Center and gives an in-depth analysis of the cyberthreat landscape.

“The last few months have proven to be as complex as ever – with new threats constantly emerging and malicious actors continuing to use the same proven playbook for big payouts,” said Candid Wüest, Acronis VP of Cyber Protection Research. “Organisations must prioritise all-encompassing solutions when looking to mitigate phishing and other hacking attempts in the new year. Attackers are evolving, using some of the tools, like MFA, that we rely on to protect our employees and businesses against us.”

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