THE Philippines was ninth in the world in terms of volume of online attacks during the second quarter, up from 44th a year earlier, cybersecurity company Kaspersky Lab said.
The company said in a statement on Monday that the Philippines registered 10.6 million malware infections during the three months to June, more than triple the number of threats from a year earlier, and nearly double the first quarter level.
“From April to June 2018, Kaspersky Lab security products discovered an all-time high of 10,685,682 web-antivirus detections of different types from data provided by the computers of Kaspersky Security Network (KSN) participants in the country. The numbers for Q2 show a 100% jump from Q1 where 5,669,200 threats were detected,” it said.
It also noted 39.4% of the attacks were on home users of Kaspersky Internet Security, while 11.2% were on business users. These web infections mostly involved malicious attempts to take control of computers for cryptocurrency mining and also to capture private information.
“Most of the web malware we have detected in the Philippines during the second quarter of 2018 was related to cryptomining. Majority of the web attacks… are targeted mostly against home users,” Kaspersky Lab malware expert Denis Parinov said in the statement.
It added that more than half (51.32%) of the threats came from sites based in the US, 22.4% from the Netherlands, 5.71% from France, 3.04% from Portugal and 2.78% from Canada.
“Successful web infections can be launchpads for more damaging attacks that can affect not just personal users, but also large organizations and even critical infrastructure,” it said.
Kaspersky Lab Southeast Asia General Manager Siang Tiong Yeo was quoted in the statement as saying, “The Philippine government has started enforcing laws involving key agencies to boost the state of cybersecurity in the country. These steps will, however, be futile if Filipino internet users are unconcerned and unaware of securing themselves online.”
He added, “From 19.2% of users infected while surfing the web last year, there are now over 34.6% of Filipino netizens being targeted by cybercriminals. The rapid rise of the number of web threats targeting the Philippines is undoubtedly concerning.”
National Privacy Commission (NPC) chairman Raymund E. Liboro told BusinessWorld on Monday that the ranking is “a reflection of the data that we process,” and points to “the need to change our collective attitudes on data security.”
“The reality is while a large part of breaches are caused by these hackers… majority of the breaches are caused by internal factors such as employee negligence. That’s why we have to emphasize that… we need to look at it holistically.” — Denise A. Valdez