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Beware! Hackers getting smarter, sneakier, warns Kaspersky

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Kaspersky Lab, a Moscow-based cybersecurity provider, is urging companies and organisations to keep their guard up as cybercriminals are now prioritising “quality over quantity”.

Yeo Siang Tiong, Kaspersky’s general manager for Southeast Asia, said recently that cybercriminals are cutting down on large-scale attacks. He said the company tracked down 17.2 million web threats in 2021 against internet users in Thailand, which was 16.42 per cent lower than the 20.6 million web threats in 2020.

However, 32.70 per cent or a third of Thai internet users were affected by cybercriminals in 2021.

Thailand ranks 95th globally when it comes to dangers associated with the internet.

Yeo said web browsers are a key method for spreading malicious software, as hackers exploit vulnerabilities in browsers and plug-ins.

He said that the trend of web threats over the past five years in Thailand has been interesting. In 2017, there were 12.6 million internet-based threats, which rose to 30.2 million in 2018. However, the number has been gradually falling since then.

The number of local threats is also reducing, he said.

Kaspersky found 33.21 million local threats in 2021 from networks based in Thailand, or 33.53 per cent less than the nearly 50 million threats in 2020. He added that some 40.5 per cent of Thai internet users are attacked by local cybercriminals.

Back-door entry

Globally, some 380,000 new malicious files enter the system, which is 5.7 higher than in 2021.

Around 91 per cent of these threats occur via WindowsPE files – a file format that is specific to Windows operating systems.

Cybercriminals have also started attacking Linux operating systems more than ever, with 57 per cent more malware and malicious software being found.

Kaspersky believes cybercriminals will shift from large-scale attacks to more stealthy, complicated attacks that do greater damage.

Recently, Thailand’s public and private sectors, especially financial institutions, have been teaching users of tricks and cyber risks they should look out for.

Training sessions have also been held for customers and personnel to protect themselves from cyberattacks.

Tips to stay safe

Kaspersky continues advising internet users to not download or install applications for unreliable sources. Users are also advised to not click on any unknown links and suspicious online advertisements. Instead, it said, users should create strong and unique passwords that contain both upper and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols. Users should also use two-factor authentication.

Kaspersky also recommends that users keep all programs updated to solve security issues and ignore messages that ask them to turn off security software.

Published : March 01, 2022

By : THE NATION