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Aden - Yasmine El Tohamy - The UAE is among the countries in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region that are most affected by unwanted push notifications, new analysis by Kaspersky has shown.
According to Kaspersky's data, Egypt has become the most targeted country with 34,654 users facing unwanted push notifications with 302,963 cases in May this year. It is followed by UAE with 26,028 affected browsers and 185,695 pop-ups and Kuwait with 5,451 and 41,712 devices and detected pushes accordingly.
Unwanted notifications cannot be classified as malware and are technically described as potentially unwanted objects. While originally they were meant as a tool for rapid information of users on breaking news, today they can be exploited to target shell websites visitors, filling their devices with unsolicited ads and sometimes links to potentially dangerous websites. To achieve that, users are hoaxed into subscribing to notifications, for example, by passing subscription consent off as some other action. The victim ends up subscribed to ad deliveries, while at the same time quite unable to get rid of the annoying messages, being unaware of their source or origin.
Artemy Ovchinnikov, a security expert at Kaspersky, noted that the increasing number of users overwhelmed with push notifications spam is a part of global trend.
"We see a continuous increase of a role of programs in a 'grey zone' which cannot be classified as a malware, yet cause lots of disturbance and cause difficulties when working on a spammed laptop," he said. "Since their beginning in 2015, unwanted push notifications have been detected more and more often and now we see tens of thousands of them in some countries. The threat is relatively new. But good news is, it is easy to get rid of - users do not need specific coding skills to turn them off by themselves by accessing browser settings, or installing a simple security solution on their device."
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