PH second most vulnerable in region to cyberthreats
MANILA -Filipinos have been victimized by data breach at least once, making the Philippines among the most vulnerable countries in terms of cyberthreats, according to cybersecurity firm Surfshark.
Data from Surfshark showed that 124 million accounts in the Philippines have been compromised since 2004, the second highest count in Southeast Asia. Indonesia topped the list with 144 million.
About 70 million passwords were leaked during the period of study, which posed risks of account takeover that might lead to identity theft and extortion, among others.
In Asia, the Philippines ranked fifth based on breach count since 2004. It stood at 17th globally.
“In Asia, 52 accounts are breached per 100 people on average. However, in the Philippines, this number goes up to 106 per 100 people,” Surfshark lead researcher Agneska Sablovskaja said.
“Statistically speaking, an average Filipino has been affected by data breaches around once,” the researcher added. Text scams, which are a form of phishing activity, have been on the rise since the pandemic.
These spam messages usually contain fake lottery winnings and too-good-to-be-true job opportunities to lure unsuspecting victims into clicking suspicious links and providing personal information.
“When it comes to scamming people online, phishing remains to be the tried and tested modus operandi of cybercriminals due to its cost-effectiveness and profitability,” said Adrian Hia, managing director for Asia-Pacific at cybersecurity company Kaspersky.
PLDT Inc. and Smart Communications blocked more than 5.5 million spam messages in September alone. Globe Telecom Inc., meanwhile, foiled 2.59 billion potential text scams from January to September.
The government has implemented SIM (subscriber identity module) card registration in the country to curb the proliferation of text scams as it removes the anonymity of the threat actors.
However, the cyberhackers have remained persistent in coming up with new ways to trick the public due to financial motivation. As such, cyber experts have been advising the public to ignore suspicious text messages as a safety measure.