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Cyber-criminals exploiting World Cup Fever

A software technology company has identified a phishing campaign linked to the start of the FIFA World Cup where cyber-criminals attempt to lure would-be victims into downloading a schedule of fixtures and a result tracker

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A software technology company has identified a phishing campaign linked to the start of the FIFA World Cup where cyber-criminals attempt to lure would-be victims into downloading a schedule of fixtures and a result tracker.

When opened, the attachment uses a malware variant called ‘DownloaderGuide,’ a known downloader of potentially unwanted programs (PUPs) that is most commonly used as an installer for applications such as toolbars, adware or system optimizers. Check Point researchers have found that in total the campaign includes different executable files, all of which were sent in emails using the subject: “World_Cup_2018_Schedule_and_Scoresheet_CB-DL-Manager.”

The campaign was first identified on May 30, 2018, peaking on June 5, however during the past week it has gained new momentum with new instances emerging as the competition starts.

“Events that attract huge amounts of popular interest are seen by cyber-criminals as a golden opportunity to launch new campaigns,” said Check Point’s Threat Intelligence Group Manager, Maya Horowitz. “With so much anticipation and hype around the World Cup, cyber-criminals are banking on employees being less vigilant in opening unsolicited emails and attachments. As such, it is critical that organizations take steps to remind their employees of security best practices to help prevent these attacks being successful.

“In addition to this, organisations should also take steps to ensure that phishing campaigns don’t reach inboxes in the first place. This should include employing a multi-layered cybersecurity strategy that protects against both established malware families’ cyber-attacks and brand new threats and prevents it from spreading across the network in the result of the initial campaign being successful.”

With Check Point anticipating a further range of online scams and phishing attacks during the month-long tournament, it has also issued the following guidance for individuals to protect themselves from cyber threats during the 2018 FIFA World Cup:

1. Keep software updated – Ensure that your PC or device’s operating system, security software, apps and web browsers are all updated with the latest versions as this will form an effective defense against malware, viruses and other online threats.

2. Beware of fake websites – At previous large public events, cyber-criminals have created fake websites and domains, covering everything from merchandising to news and live streaming, which appear to be official but can be used to deliver malware to, or capture sensitive information from unsuspecting visitors.

3. Beware of emails from unknown senders – Cyber-criminals will likely send a variety of phishing emails during the tournament, offering a range of free offers or entries into draws for match tickets. This could be in the form of hyperlinks or attachments that will either download malware onto machines or attempt to steal your personal data. It is best to avoid opening emails or attachments from an unrecognized sender.

4. Beware of public Wi-Fi hotspots – With matches taking place throughout the day, many will be tempted to use public Wi-Fi hotspots to watch games on mobile devices. However, insecure hotspots are easy targets for hackers to compromise and intercept personal data such as emails and passwords, or plant malware on mobile devices.

Tech

Nigerian fintech startup, CredPal, secures more funding from Cairo Angels syndicate

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A Nigerian fintech startup, CredPal, has raised funding from the Cairo Angels Syndicate Fund (CASF), a micro-venture capital fund, to expand its “buy now, pay later” incentive to customers.

Launched in 2018 by the duo of Fehintolu Olaogun and Olorunfemi Jegede, CredPal has placed itself as one of Nigeria’s most preferred consumer credit platform that gives buyers the freedom to “buy now and pay later” and helps merchants acquire more customers to increase their sales.

According to Disrupt Africa, the Google-backed CredPal has over 85,000 active customers and over 4,000 onboarded merchants, with the company announcing in March it had raised US$15 million in funding to expand its consumer credit offerings in Nigeria and to scale across Africa.

While speaking on the new funding, Olaogun said:

“This support from Cairo Angels Syndicate Fund reinforces our mission to improve the quality of life of Africans through easy access to consumer credit.

“My co-founder and I are very pleased to have them as investment partners and can’t wait for how much we’ll achieve together.”

The Cairo Angels is Egypt’s first formal network of angel investors, and since its formation has been one of the most active early-stage investors in startups and high-growth businesses in the Middle East and Africa, with 31 investee companies across 18 different sectors.

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Nigerian auto tech startup, Autochek, partners with Kenya’s Pezesha to provide asset financing to African SMEs

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Nigerian auto-tech digital solution startup, Autochek, has entered into a partnership with Kenyan fintech, Pezesha, to provide asset financing to Africa Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

According to Autochek Kenyan Country Manager, Bilhah Muriithi, the company aims to build digital solutions that will enhance and enable a seamless and safe automotive commerce experience across Africa, with the hub starting with Nigeria and Ghana.

“Autochek has been focused on financing retail customers, we are excited to partner with Pezesha whose key focus is on enabling SME lending.

“Autochek will continue to invest in the market while exploring new partnership opportunities to deliver solutions for driving positive change in the automotive industry in Kenya and beyond,” said Muriithi.

Autochek, Muriithi said, plans to use technology to transform the automotive buying and selling experience for African consumers, by creating a single marketplace for consumers’ automotive needs, from sourcing and financing to after sales support and warranties.

Having expanded to Kenya late last year, the partnership between Autochek and Pezesha will enable SMEs to acquire auto assets for ease of business operations and growth.

Pezesha was founded in 2016 and has created a holistic digital financial infrastructure that connects small and medium-sized businesses to working capital offered by banks, MFIs, and other financial institutions or networks.

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