Interpol Report Says South Africa Leads Africa in Cybercrime


A new report by Interpol has revealed that South Africa is at the heart of cybercrime in Africa in 2022

It also indicates there are huge concerns in Ghana as well, as the country was among those who recorded between 10 million to 50 million overall cyber threat cases in that year.

In the year under review, South Africa had 230 million threat detections, far above the country that placed second, Kenya – 72 million, and definitely way higher than what Ghana recorded.

South Africa also reportedly has the third highest number of cybercrime victims worldwide, at a cost of R2.2 billion ($121 million) a year.

Of the 230 million detected threats in the country, 219 million were e-mail-related threats. South Africa also had the highest targeted ransomware and business email compromise (BEC) attempts.

According to the report, South Africa was also the country most heavily affected by targeted ransomware in the first quarter of 2021, with a variety of families such as Crysis, Nefilim, Ryuk, Clop, and Conti ransomware noted in the attacks.

Egypt was the next hardest-hit country with a similar profile of targeted ransomware detection, while Tunisia was the third most affected country.

The report also highlights how South Africans have fallen victim to some of the world’s largest cryptocurrency frauds. In 2021, Africrypt scammed investors of about $3.6 billion of bitcoin. Later on in the same year, South African Mirror Trading International (MTI) defrauded hundreds of thousands of people of about $589 million.


Per the report Ghana fell in the category of countries that recorded between 10 million and 50 million cybercrime attacks in 2022.

Ghana was also part of the leading countries to have recorded phishing as one of the top cyber threats on the continent. The rest were South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, Egypt, Morocco, Mauritius and Botswana.

Digital Extortion
Figure 1: Digital Extortion – Ghana scores sixth highest cases

Again when it comes to digital extortion (catfishing and others) Ghana was among the top six most affected countries, while the country recorded the third highest cases of Business Email Compromises, at 10%, after Nigeria (83%) and South Africa (14%).

Figure 2: Business Email Compromise – Ghana scores 3rd highest cases
Figure 2: Business Email Compromise – Ghana scores 3rd highest cases

South Africa fights

Last month, the South African government called for global cooperation to aid its fight against cybercrime. Earlier in January, South Africa was also a subject of a draft resolution at the 146th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union in Bahrain which calls for a global intervention for the development of effective cybersecurity frameworks.

Download full report here

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