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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.

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Airtel Kenya expands 5G network to 39 counties, 285 wards

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Airtel Kenya has announced an expansion of its 5G network to 39 counties and 285 wards in the country.

The expansion, according to the giant telco company, has now doubled its 5G footprint, up from 16 counties and 180 wards in July 2023.

The company also revealed that it has increased the number of its 5G sites to 690, up from 372 when the network went live, with further plans to launch an additional 1000 sites by the end of this year, which will bring the total number of 5G sites to 1690.

While addressing journalists at a breakfast media briefing, Ashish Malhotra, Managing Director, Airtel Kenya said the rollout which is the biggest ever in Airtel Kenya’s operations, will improve indoor coverage in towns and connect rural areas and will specially focus on enhancing and deepening Airtel’s network coverage in the northeastern region of the country.

“Aw Airtel Kenya, we are steadfast in our dedication to supporting digital inclusion, and we are encouraged by the market’s response to our offerings,” Malhotra said.

“We are confident that our ongoing network expansion will enable us to extend connectivity to more communities nationwide, ensuring that no one is left behind in the digital revolution.

“In marking this milestone Airtel Kenya has rolled out the unlimited home broadband 5G plans, structured across three tiers: 10 Mbps at Kes 3,500 monthly, 20 Mbps at Kes 5,000 monthly, and 30 Mbps at Kes 6,500 monthly,” he said.

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Egyptian startup Potcast Productions raises funding to upscale offerings

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Potcast Production, an Egypt-based innovative company that specializes in podcast production, has announced securing an an undisclosed pre-seed funding round to help enhance its content production capabilities, scale its marketing efforts, and accelerate the development of new podcast series.

Potcast Productions which was established by entrepreneur Islam Adel in 2020, creates 15 diverse podcast programmes tailored to various target demographics, and has racked up seven million listens and over 600,000 viewing hours within the last six months.

According Adel, the pre-seed funding round comes from Innovative Media Productions (IMP), the media company behind Egypt’s Shart Tank television show, which made its first investment in Potcast Productions back in April, as well as renowned investor Ahmed Tarek Khalil.

“The funds will be used to enhance Potcast’s content production capabilities, scale up its marketing efforts, and accelerate the development of new, high-quality podcast series that cater to a diverse and growing audience,” Adel said.

“This round of investment will also support plans to produce high quality audio experiences both digitally and offline, further solidifying Potcast’s position as a leader in audio-first content production.

“The injection of funds will be directed towards enhancing Potcast’s capacity to produce high-quality content, scaling its marketing initiatives, and creating new podcast series to meet the demands of an increasingly diverse listener base.

“The investment will also support Potcast’s ambition to deliver premium audio experiences, both online and offline, thereby reinforcing its status as a pioneer in the realm of audio-first content production.

“Securing this follow-up investment from IMP and Ahmed Tarek Khalil is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our team.

“Their support validates our mission to transform podcasting in the region and propels us forward as we continue to innovate and expand our reach,” Adel said.

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