Daggerfly Cyberattack Campaign Strikes African Telecom Providers

By   Adeola Adegunwa
Writer , Informationsecuritybuzz | Apr 20, 2023 06:33 am PST

African Telecom Service Providers Targeted by Daggerfly Cyberattack Campaign. Recently, the Daggerfly cyberattack campaign, aimed at numerous institutions worldwide, shocked the cybersecurity community. Experts describe this sophisticated attack effort as one of the most sophisticated and hazardous cyberattacks since it has caused major harm. 

The Daggerfly cyberattack campaign has been in the news recently due to its catastrophic effects on numerous organizations worldwide.  Cybersecurity professionals made their initial discovery of the attack campaign in early April 2023. 

The campaign’s perpetrators broke into the networks of numerous companies using sophisticated methods and strategies, stealing sensitive information and causing serious harm.

What Is Daggerfly Cyberattack?

The Daggerfly cyberattack campaign is a very sophisticated and complex assault campaign that employs various strategies and techniques to breach the networks of targeted companies.  Though no organization has taken ownership of the attack, the effort is thought to be the product of a state-sponsored organization.

To gain access to their targets, the perpetrators of the Daggerfly campaign employ various methods, such as spear-phishing attempts, social engineering, and the exploitation of zero-day vulnerabilities.  The attackers employ various viruses and tools to steal data and launch other attacks once they have gained access to the target network. The disruption of vital infrastructure, intellectual property theft, and espionage are potential motives for the attack.

Targets Of The Cyberattack

Presently there is no report of the worldwide spread of the cyberattack even though several organizations worldwide have been the targets of the Daggerfly attack campaign. Largely, the cyberattack is aimed at African Telecom Service Providers. However, there have been victims in some parts of the Middle East and Asian countries.

These companies are thought to have been targeted because they possess sensitive information or are crucial from a strategic standpoint. For political or financial gain, the attackers probably intended to steal this material or interfere with the activities of these organizations.

The Execution Of The Cyberattack

The perpetrators of the Daggerfly campaign utilized various strategies and methods to break into the networks of their targets. These included social engineering, spear phishing, and the use of newly discovered vulnerabilities in technology. The attackers utilized various malware and tools to break into the target network, steal data, and launch other attacks. 

A sophisticated Remote Access Trojan (RAT) that gave the attackers remote access to the compromised systems was one of the main malware utilized in the attack. Keyloggers, backdoors, and password stealers were just a few of the other tools the attackers employed to steal critical information and obtain access to the target network.

How Organizations React To The Cyberattack

The targeted groups and organizations have been putting up much effort to counter the Daggerfly attack operation. To stop new attacks, many firms have deployed improved cybersecurity measures like two-factor authentication and increased network monitoring.

However, the intelligence of the attackers and the intricacy of the attack strategy have made the response to the attack difficult.  The malware utilized in the attack has proven difficult for many firms to find and eliminate, resulting in extended outages and damage.

Worst Cyberattack In Africa’s Telecom Industry

In July 2017, a significant distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack against the South African telecommunications provider Telkom was one of the worst cyberattacks to hit the continent’s telecom sector.  Telkom’s website, customer portal, and email systems were all severely disrupted by the attack, which lasted for many hours.

The hackers bombarded Telkom’s servers with traffic using a botnet made up of infected Internet of Things (IoT) devices, which caused the network to go down.  A group of hackers known only as “Anonymous Africa” are said to have launched the attack in retaliation for Telkom’s allegedly corrupt practices and substandard customer service.

Telkom suffered considerable financial losses as a result of the attack, but it also suffered reputational damage and lost customer confidence.  It brought attention to the growing danger that cyber attacks pose to Africa’s telecom sector and the pressing need for businesses to make substantial investments in cybersecurity measures to safeguard their networks and data.

The technical team at Telkom took a number of actions to lessen the effects of the attack and restore its services.  To lessen the impact of the DDoS attack, they first located the attack’s origin and rapidly began diverting traffic. 

To stop them from doing more harm, they also blacklisted the IP addresses of the botnet devices that were generating the illicit traffic. To accommodate the extra traffic and make sure that its services were still available to users, Telkom also deployed more bandwidth and servers. 

The business shared information and coordinated attempts to contain the attack with other organizations, such as the South African National Cybersecurity Hub. After the attack was stopped, Telkom carried out a careful investigation to identify the weaknesses that the attackers had taken advantage of and put precautions in place to stop similar attacks in the future. 

They learned that the attackers had taken advantage of flaws in IoT devices, underscoring the significance of putting strong security measures in place for all devices linked to the internet.

The technical team at Telkom moved swiftly to locate the attack’s point of origin and implemented several countermeasures to lessen its effects, including traffic redirection, malicious traffic blocking, and the deployment of additional resources. 

The attack was largely stopped through cooperation with other groups. The event shows how important it is for businesses to prioritize cybersecurity and have strong security steps laid down to keep their networks and data from online attacks.


The Daggerfly cyberattack campaign, which targeted African telecom service providers, is one of the most sophisticated and dangerous attacks in recent times. The attackers used various to break into their targets’ networks, including spear phishing, social engineering, and newly discovered technological vulnerabilities.  The attack resulted in serious damage, including the theft of confidential data, theft of intellectual property, and espionage.  Although many firms have implemented stronger cybersecurity safeguards in response, it has proven difficult to react effectively due to the complexity of the attack and the sophistication of the perpetrators.

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