Top seven cyberthreats in Southeast Asia

The pandemic has accelerated digital transformation, which has opened new opportunities for cybercriminals.

According to a new INTERPOL report, there are seven key cybercrime trends and threats confronting the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region.  Cybercrime’s upward trend is set to rise exponentially, with highly organized cybercriminals sharing resources and expertise to their advantage.

Against the context of the pandemic, which has seen more people going online using mostly unprotected mobile devices, there is a surge in cybercriminal activities profiting from the theft of personal information and credentials.

The INTERPOL’s ASEAN Cybercrime Operations Desk (ASEAN Desk) with the support from law enforcement agencies in the region and INTERPOL’s private sector cybersecurity partners identify the region’s top cyberthreats:

  • Business E-mail Compromise campaigns continue to top the chart with businesses suffering major losses, as it is a high-return investment with low cost and risk.
  • Phishing. Cybercriminals are exploiting the widespread use of global communications on information related to COVID-19 to deceive unsuspecting victims.
  • Ransomware. Cybercrime targeting hospitals, medical centers and public institutions for ransomware attacks has increased rapidly as cybercriminals believe they have a higher chance of success given the medical crisis in many countries.
  • E-commerce data interception poses an emerging and imminent threat to online shoppers, undermining trust in online payment systems.
  • Crimeware-as-a-Service puts cybercriminal tools and services in the hands of a wider range of threat actors – even non-technical ones, to the extent that anyone can become a cybercriminal with minimal ‘investment’.
  • Cyber Scams. With the increase of online transactions and more people working from home, cybercriminals have revised their online scams and phishing schemes, even impersonating government and health authorities to lure victims into providing their personal information and downloading malicious content.
  • Cryptojacking continues to be on the radar of cybercriminals as the value of cryptocurrencies increases.

“Cybercrime is constantly evolving. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated digital transformation, which has opened new opportunities for cybercriminals,” said Craig Jones, INTERPOL’s Director of Cybercrime.

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