Cyberattacks on internet-connected devices continue to rise at an alarming rate due to poor security protections and cybercriminals use of automated tools to exploit these vulnerabilities, according to the latest Nokia Threat Intelligence Report.
The report found that Internet-connected, or IoT, devices now make up roughly 33% of infected devices, up from about 16% in 2019. The report’s findings are based on data aggregated from monitoring network traffic on more than 150 million devices globally where Nokia’s NetGuard Endpoint Security product is deployed.
Adoption of IoT devices, from smart home security monitoring systems to drones and medical devices, is expected to continue growing as consumers and enterprises move to take advantage of the high bandwidth, ultra-low latency, and fundamentally new networking capabilities that 5G mobile networks enable, according to the report.
The rate of success in infecting IoT devices depends on the visibility of the devices to the internet, according to the report. In networks where devices are routinely assigned public facing internet IP addresses, a high infection rate is seen. In networks where carrier-grade Network Address Translation is used, the infection rate is considerably reduced because the vulnerable devices are not visible to network scanning.
The Threat Intelligence Report also reveals there is no let up in cybercriminals using the COVID-19 pandemic to try to steal personal data through a variety of types of malware. One in particular is disguised as a “Coronavirus Map” application – mimicking the legitimate and authoritative Coronavirus Map issued by Johns Hopkins University – to take advantage of the public’s demand for accurate information about COVID-19 infections, deaths and transmissions.
But the bogus application is used to plant malware on victims’ computers to exploit personal data. “Cybercriminals are playing on people’s fears and are seeing this situation as an opportunity to promote their agendas,” the report says. The report urges the public to install applications only from trusted app stores, like Google and Apple.
Bhaskar Gorti, Nokia Software President and Chief Digital Officer, said: “The sweeping changes that are taking place in the 5G ecosystem, with even more 5G networks being deployed around the world as we move to 2021, open ample opportunities for malicious actors to take advantage of vulnerabilities in IoT devices. This report reinforces not only the critical need for consumers and enterprises to step up their own cyber protection practices, but for IoT device producers to do the same.”
Africa’s Smartphone Market Grows in Q3 2020, but Feature Phone Shipments Decline
Africa’s overall mobile phone market shipments declined 6.0% year on year (YoY) in Q3 2020, according to the latest insights from global technology research and consulting firm International Data Corporation (IDC).
The firm’s newly published Quarterly Global Mobile Phone Tracker shows that the decline stemmed mainly from feature phones, with shipments of these devices declining 11.2% YoY in Q3 2020 to total 29.4 million units.
By contrast, smartphone shipments were up a healthy 14.1% YoY, with 22.9 million smartphones shipped to the region during the quarter. The growth of the smartphone market was caused by the release of pent-up demand after countries eased their COVID-19 lockdown restrictions and by a shift in vendor strategies to offer more entry-level flagship models.
Rising unemployment rates and economic uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic continue to shift consumer buying patterns toward affordable and feature-rich products. Africa’s largest smartphone markets recorded mixed performances – Egypt and Nigeria both posted YoY growth in Q3 2020, while South Africa suffered a YoY decline.
Smartphone shipments to Nigeria grew due to a shift from vendors to entry-level and mid-range devices. Similarly, the Egyptian smartphone market grew as vendors offered devices with more competitive prices, larger screens, and improved features.
Despite, experiencing a 13.4% YoY decline in shipments, South Africa continued to lead the way in Africa’s smartphone market, with shipments to the country totaling 3.3 million units.
“While South Africa’s smartphone market experienced a YoY decline, shipments actually increased 17.8% QoQ as lockdown restrictions were lifted and the channels replenished their inventories for Q4 promotions,” says Arnold Ponela, a research analyst at IDC. “South Africa is struggling with economic hardships, but smartphones have become an essential consumer item, making it a resilient market in a downturn.”
Transsion brands (Tecno, Itel, and Infinix) continued to dominate Africa’s smartphone space in Q3 2020, with 42.2% unit share. Samsung and Huawei followed in second and third place, with respective unit shares of 19.9% and 8.7%. The Transsion brands (Tecno and Itel) also dominated the feature phone landscape with a combined share of 76.6%. Nokia came in third with 8.0% share of feature phone shipments.
In terms of price bands, devices priced below $200 accounted for 89.3% of smartphone shipments to Africa in Q3 2020. The share of smartphones priced below $100 declined slightly from 53.8% in Q2 2020 to 53.0% in Q3 2020, while the share of devices priced $100-$200 increased from 34.7% to 36.3% over the same period.
“Demand for entry-level smartphones was driven by e-learning requirements since smartphones are the only device offering internet access for most households in Africa,” says Ramazan Yavuz, a senior research manager at IDC. “The mid-range segment ($200<$500) declined YoY, as consumers held back on upgrading to more expensive smartphones due to economic uncertainties.”
Looking ahead, IDC expects the recovery in shipments seen in Q3 to continue through Q4 2020 during the festive months, with overall shipments expected to grow 4.6% quarter on quarter. The prospects for 2021 will depend on improvements in the overall economy, which will be largely dictated by the availability of a COVID-19 vaccine. Aside from this factor, all market indicators are pointing towards supply-chain constraints fully easing out during the second half of 2021, with demand returning to normal as economic recovery starts.
Middle East & Africa PC Monitors Market Rise In Q3 2020
The Middle East and Africa (MEA) PC monitors (PCM) market saw shipments increase 12.8 per cent year on year (YoY) in Q3 2020 to total 1.1 million units.
That’s according to the latest insights from International Data Corporation (IDC), with the firm’s recently published Quarterly PC Monitor Tracker also showing a 45.5 per cent YoY increase in the market’s value to $232.1 million.
“The growth was driven by a surge in consumer sales for home office and distance learning purposes,” says Nourhan Abdullah, a senior research analyst at IDC. “Although COVID-19 lockdowns were relaxed across the region during Q3 2020, many workforces continued to adopt work-from-home policies, with the same story applying to educational institutions and their use of home schooling.”
The top five countries experienced mixed results in Q3 2020. While the major markets of Turkey, Israel, the UAE, and Saudi Arabia all recorded YoY growth, the South African market continues to struggle, suffering a double-digit decline due to the lack of spending on the technology caused by currency depreciation and a declining GDP.
Shipments to the consumer segment increased 47.1 per cent YoY in Q3 2020 to account for 40.4 per cent share of the overall MEA market. Demand was highest for mid-level screen sizes (i.e., 23.8″ and 27″) offering full high-definition (FHD) resolutions. Gaming monitors accounted for 33.8 per cent share of the total consumer shipments during Q3 2020, recording a value of $46.3 million.
The top three vendors accounted for a combined 55.0 per cent share of the total market’s shipments in Q3 2020. Dell ranked first, followed by HP Inc. in second place. Samsung moved into the top three for the first time, spurred by its competitive prices and discount promotions.
Facebook Launches Cloud Games In Beta For Android, Web
Facebook has announced the launch of games on its Facebook app and browser.
The games, based in the cloud, don’t need to be downloaded and are immediately playable, with no special hardware or controllers. The games will be as accessible as the instant ones in HTML5.
The service, tested on 200,000, have launched in beta on Andoid and on the web (fb.gg/play) but will not be available on iOS for the moment. This is due to Apple’s new games policy, the company said.
The first set of games available this week include Asphalt 9: Legends by Gameloft; Mobile Legends: Adventure by Moonton; PGA Tour Golf Shootout by Concrete Software; Solitaire: Arthur’s Tale by Qublix Games; and WWE SuperCard by 2K Games.
The company will in the coming weeks add Dirt Bike Unchained by Red Bull. Testing will also continue for new new experiences and new games.
The games will feature player names and gaming-themed avatars, as well as cloud playable ads. These will launch on Android and iOS in the US. “With this new format, we can now support interactive demos from a game’s native code, blurring the line between games and ads,” Facebook said.
There is a new Gaming tab to help people find new games and re-enter ones they have played but Facebook stressed that it will not be spinning off any separate cloud gaming service.
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