RANSOMWARE attacks on small and medium businesses (SMBs) in the Philippines declined last year, but internet security firm Kaspersky warned them not to relax because attackers are now focused on quality rather than quantity.

Ransomware attempts against Philippine SMBs declined 15.17% to 22,011 versus the 25,946 attempts detected in 2019, the latest Kaspersky Security Network report showed.

As a result, the Philippines fell from 45th to 50th place globally in terms of ransomware attempts versus SMBs last year.

Kaspersky defines ransomware as a “malware designed to infect computers of organizations and individuals, encrypt data in it, and block access to it.”

“Ransomware attackers then will demand a fee from the victims in exchange for enabling the system to work again,” it added.

“Ransomware attacks may be declining, but Kaspersky has been issuing a warning to companies, of all shapes and sizes, against the increasing activities of ‘Ransomware 2.0’ or what’s known as targeted ransomware,” the company noted.

Yeo Siang Tiong, general manager for Southeast Asia at Kaspersky, said: “The decrease of ransomware detections here should not make us complacent.”

“Since last year, we have been underlining the evolution of this threat. Ransomware groups are now more concerned about quality over quantity. Meaning, from blindly throwing a line into the ocean and waiting for an insecure user to bite, attackers are now more aggressive and targeted towards their victims,” he said. — Arjay L. Balinbin