Thailand at forefront of attacks by cybercriminals

Thailand at forefront of attacks by cybercriminals

Thailand is one of the world's top 25 targets for attack by malware infections, while Bangkok is a prime target of hackers in Asia-Pacific, says global technology firm Microsoft.

Thai government websites are also prime targets, as evidenced by recent attacks by the international hacker collective Anonymous as a protest against the government's single gateway initiative.

Microsoft's digital crimes unit estimates there are more than 5 million IP addresses connected to millions of infected devices in Asia.

"Thailand is one of the top 25 infected countries out of the 200 surveyed," said Keshav Dhakad, Microsoft's regional director for intellectual property and digital crimes.

Malware infections and ransomware, a type of malware that restricts access to a computer, are the most increasing cybercrime threats for Thailand.

Mr Dhakad said Asia-Pacific is the most actively targeted region for cybercrime.

A white paper published by the National University of Singapore and IDC estimated that Asia-Pacific consumers spent about US$10 billion in identification, repair and recovering data and dealing with identity theft from malware on pirated software in 2014.

The study also found that infected pirated software and lost data would have cost enterprises in the region $229 billion last year.

Pierre Noel, chief security officer of Microsoft Asia, said the impact of cyber- attacks could be as much as $3 trillion in lost productivity per year.

The average cost of data breaches for each business is $3.5 million and will increase by 15% each year.

Prinya Hom-anek, secretary of the Thailand Information Security Association, urged the government to quickly develop and implement national strategies for cybersecurity.

Establishment of an independent national cybersecurity council is also vital to address the increase in threats.

In addition, implementing laws governing cybersecurity and data protection and privacy are also vital.

Mr Prinya suggested the government shift state websites to international-standard public cloud-based services in order to prevent distributed denial of service attacks.

Attacks, which are mostly intended for economic gain, have become an emerging industry and increasingly advanced.

Up to 96% of global internet content lies in a tangled and secretive network known as the deep web or hidden web, which traditional search engines cannot find. That offers criminals a great business opportunity, said Mr Prinya. 

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