Beware of data theft via mobile phones, Filipinos told | Inquirer Business

Beware of data theft via mobile phones, Filipinos told

Cybersecurity firm Kaspersky has warned Filipinos against malware infecting their mobile devices, which can lead to theft or deletion of stored data.

In a statement, the Russian company said malicious software detected in the country were disguised as legitimate files but these could “steal private data” and “spy on users.”


“These types of mobile malware get into computers through infected attachments, manipulated text messages or fake websites and can read passwords, record keyboard strokes or take the entire computer hostage,” it added.

Yeo Siang Tiong, general manager for Southeast Asia at Kaspersky, explained that hybrid remote work has made enterprises vulnerable to such cyberattacks as employees access work-related emails through their personal mobile devices.


Generic Trojans were among the types of mobile malware found by Kaspersky in the country in the first half.

“Apart from stealing your data, Trojans can carry out a range other of functions, such as deleting, blocking, modifying or copying data, or disrupting the performance of computers or computer networks,” it explained.


Kaspersky also identified SMS Flooder, which is a malware designed to flood text message channels with spams.

“This goes to show that regardless of the type of device we use, cybercriminals can infect our smartphones, steal all data and money in them, and even access or even wipe out our messages, emails, private photos and more,” Yeo said.

“Such can be avoided if we do the basic act of installing legitimate security solutions in our smartphones,” he added.

Recently, Kaspersky reported that it had blocked over 238,000 phishing emails targeting online payment systems in the Philippines, which were about 35 percent of the total cyberattacks in Southeast Asia.

The country, as such, was the most vulnerable in this category, followed by Vietnam with 170,821 foiled phishing emails; Indonesia, 166,857; Thailand, 39,011; Singapore, 30,442; and Malaysia, 27,458.


For phishing attacks on electronic shops, the Philippines logged 92,211, the third highest in the region after Indonesia (169,326) and Vietnam (167,744).

The cyberattacks lodged against banks in the Philippines reached 13,200 in the first half, which was among the fewest in the region. Vietnam had the most with 56,392 phishing emails.

Phishing is a fraudulent activity that tricks users into giving out personal information, such as passwords, credit card numbers and bank account details, through malicious links delivered via emails and other modes. Once these details are illegally obtained by hackers, they can drain one’s bank account.

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TAGS: Kaspersky, Mobile phones, theft
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