Philippines getting more vulnerable to cybercrimes
MANILA - The Philippines was the 8th most attacked country by mobile malware in 2016, with attacks still expected to grow, according to a cybersecurity firm.
Filipinos need to take cybercrime seriously as rapid economic growth here and increasing internet access expose more unwary users to online threats.
These issues came to the fore in the Cybersecurity Summit 2017 held Thursday. The event was led by the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), together with Kaspersky Lab.
Kaspersky, during the forum, revealed Philippines-specific data that pointed to the vulnerability of individual users and businesses in the country. Among these, it said the Philippines was the 8th most attacked country by mobile malware in 2016.
Vitaly Kamluk, Kaspersky principal security researcher for Asia Pacific, said he expected attacks to increase “in the near future.”
“The Philippines is a developing country, developing economy and quickly getting increasing [internet] connectivity,” he said in a briefing.
“That means there will be some gap between the moment users are connected to the internet and the moment they are fully secured and protected from cyberthreats,” he said. “Within this gap, the country may see an increased number of cyberattacks and infections.”
Stephan Neumeier, managing director of Kaspersky Asia Pacific, said the company’s own cybersecurity index showed that half of Filipino digital users remained “unaware of online dangers.”
Citing the Kaspersky Security Network, he said about 16,000 internet-borne malware infections were detected on computers of Filipino users from April to June 2017. These were mainly obtained through visiting websites of downloading so-called malicious files.
Mobile users in the Philippines, where the Android platform is popular, are especially vulnerable.
Kamluk noted that from 15.7 per cent of Filipinos hit by mobile malware in the first quarter of 2016, the number by the end of the year hit 34.97 per cent.
During the briefing, Information and Telecommunication Secretary Rodolfo Salalima said steps had been taken to protect users here. The DICT announced yesterday the unveiling of its National Cybersecurity Plan 2022, which it said would “ensure the protection of government networks, critical infrastructure and individuals.”