PH now among main cyberattacks targets
The Philippines is a magnet for online threats, landing as among the top five countries in the world in terms of internet-borne attacks, Russian cybersecurity firm Kaspersky said.
Citing its Global Security Bulletin for the second quarter of the year, it said the Philippines was the fifth-most targeted country after Algeria, Nepal, Albania and Djibouti.
Data from the company’s security network showed that 37.4 percent, or seven million, of Kaspersky’s users in the Philippines were targets of a host of threats between April to May this year.
“We can still point at the general carelessness and lack of online security awareness among our Filipino Internet users,” Yeo Siang Tiong, general manager for Kaspersky Southeast Asia, said in a statement.
“Like it is a known fact that when one buys a new smartphone, he or she will buy a protective case or some accessories, but not an internet security solution,” Yeo added.
Attacks mainly took the form of a method called drive-by download.
This happens when an internet user visits an infected website, which contains malicious scripts that install malware directly onto the computer or device.
Kaspersky noted that a drive-by download attack requires no action on the part of the internet user.
“Once in an infected website, the user’s computer or device gets infected automatically, and silently, particularly if the computer is vulnerable in some way, such as when its operating system, any of its applications, or its web browser contain security flaws due to unsuccessful updates or lack of updates,” the company noted.
Another method is known as social engineering, which occurs when cybercriminals convince unsuspecting users to send confidential data, infecting their computers with malware or opening links to infected websites.
Kaspersky said cyberthreat incidents in the Philippines increased by 15 percent to 67,000 in the second quarter of 2019 compared to the same period last year. The Philippines ranked 34th in 2019 versus 36th last year.
Kaspersky noted that it detected and blocked about 13 million local incidents on computers of Filipino users in this period. Local threats or incidents are those that are caused by malware spread via removable media such as USB drives, CDs and DVDs, and other “offline” methods.
“The targeted Kaspersky users is about nine percent of the total internet users in the Philippines today which, from a cybersecurity point of view, is a big number and is worth paying attention to,” Yeo said.
Kaspersky said internet users can reduce their chance of infections by updating their operating systems, apps and internet security software, avoid clicking on sponsored links and unexpected attachments as well as typing the web address directly on the address bar.
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