Thailand a ripe target for cyberattacks

Thailand a ripe target for cyberattacks

"Thailand has been rated as a high-risk country for cybercrime because users lack cybersecurity awareness, especially first-time online users," said Alan Lee, senior manager for the advanced threat protection group at Symantec Corporation.

Thailand was one of the world's top targets for cyberattacks through ransomware, spammers and social media scammers in 2015, due to the rapid proliferation of online and social media users.

"Thailand has been rated as a high-risk country for cybercrime because users lack cybersecurity awareness, especially first-time online users," said Alan Lee, senior manager for the advanced threat protection group at Symantec Corporation, a US-based computer security firm.

According to Symantec's 2016 Internet Security Threat Report, last year saw 5,090 attacks involving malicious software, known as ransomware, in Thailand, an average of 14 attacks a day.

"This means Thailand was ranked 13th in Asia-Pacific for the number of ransomware attacks in 2015 and 46th in the world," Mr Lee said.

Ransomware continued to evolve in 2015 globally, with the more damaging style of crypto-ransomware attacks growing by 35%.

Mr Lee said this year has witnessed ransomware's spread beyond PCs to smartphones, Macs and Linux systems, with attackers increasingly seeking any network-connected device that could be held hostage for profit, indicating enterprise is the next target.

Thailand still faces a rise in the number of spam attacks, ranking 24th in the 2015 global spamming index, compared with 43rd in 2014.

Mr Lee said hackers also lure users sharing and communicating through social media posts, using fake news to lure curious users into clicking on malicious links.

Thailand was 11th highest in the Asia-Pacific region for social media scams in 2015 and 52nd globally, with nearly 82 social networking scams a day.

The report also found that the wholesale trade industry is a key target for cybercrime powered by spear phishing attacks, where personalised emails are used to target a specific organisation, seeking confidential data or trade secrets for financial gain.

"The wholesale trade sector made up 75% of spear phishing attacks, making it the most vulnerable industry in Thailand," Mr Lee said.

Last year, there was also a record-setting total of nine reported mega-breaches globally. While 429 million identities were exposed, the number of companies that chose not to report the number of records lost jumped by 85%.

Symantec estimates unreported breaches pushes the real number of records lost to more than half a billion US dollars.

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