Singapore remains among world’s top 10 online threat sources, according to Kaspersky

Singapore remains among world’s top 10 online threat sources, according to Kaspersky

A recent global report from Kaspersky Security Network (KSN) has found that Singapore continues to be a hotspot for originating cyberattacks.

Based on the data collected, KSN uncovered more than 11 million attacks caused by servers hosted in the Republic last year, putting Singapore in 10th place worldwide in 2019.

The report also found that there is much more to go when it comes to building up cyber-resilience among individuals and businesses in Singapore, with 4,657,235 web threats detected, putting the city-state at 157th globally – a regression of only one position compared to the year before.

Web-based threats are malware programs that can target someone while using the Internet. These browser-based threats include a range of malicious software programs that are designed to infect victims’ computers. In Southeast Asia, the top 4 attack vectors of web threats are: unintentional downloads of certain programmes (or files) from the internet; the download of malicious attachments from online e-mail services; browser extensions activity; and the download of malicious components or communications with command & control, run by other malware.

While web-mining activity fell at the beginning of the year in Southeast Asia due to declining interest in cryptocurrencies, there was a significant growth in the number of online skimmers, using Trojan-PSW (Password Stealing Ware) to steal user account information such as logins and passwords from infected companies.

“Across the region, Singapore has performed well in terms of maintaining its high position for having the least number of cyberthreats blocked relative to its neighbours, regardless of whether they are internet-borne or local in nature. These noteworthy results are commendable and we have to give a nod on how public and private institutions in the country are working together actively to keep the digital aspect of the Republic safe and secured,” said Yeo Siang Tiong, General Manager at Kaspersky, Southeast Asia.

“Last year, Singapore’s cybersecurity landscape ended on a sombre note. The wave of cybersecurity breaches – the leakage of personal data pertaining to 2,400 Ministry of Defence personnel, the Sephora hack, the exposure of over 800,000 blood donors’ personal details from the Health Sciences Authority database – are indicative that regardless of the statistics we have here, the Republic continues to be a key target for cybercriminals. The government is undoubtedly stepping up its efforts to build up its defences. For our part, we renewed our commitment to sharing threat intelligence with INTERPOL last year, as we believe that building cybersecurity capacity must be a shared responsibility,” added Mr Yeo.

In this context, local infection statistics for user computers can provide extremely important indicators as to how we need to improve our cyber hygiene habits. Local threats refer to attacks caused by malware spread via removable USB drives, CDs, and DVDs, and other ‘offline’ methods. For example, Kaspersky detected 7,236,783 local incidents in 2019 for Singapore, as compared to 6,751,721 in the previous year.

In order to be secured against the evolving threats online and offline, Kaspersky security experts recommends the following measures:

For businesses:

  • Secure internet access for your employees. Deploy solutions which can help provide multi-layered gateway level protection against the latest web-based threats and blocks them before they reach your end points. Such is part of Kaspersky Targeted Solutions portfolio.
  • Raise your employees’ awareness of cybersecurity by educating them on good cyber hygiene. Awareness training can help develop cybersafe behavior by building your employee’s understanding of potential threats.
  • Configure your OS to avoid running anything from USBs.

For consumers:

  • Use USBs, CDs and DVDs from trusted sources.
  • Carefully check the link before visiting a site, especially for misspelling or other irregularities, even if you think it’s a site you’ve visited regularly before.
  • Enter your username and password only over a secure connection. Avoid logging in to online banks and similar services via public Wi-Fi networks.
  • Be aware that URLs that begin with the “https” may not always be secure.
  • Don’t trust emails from unknown senders until you can verify the authenticity of their origins.
  • Always run a system with a quality, up-to-date anti-malware program such as Kaspersky Internet Security. Our advanced solution will help you solve most of problems automatically and alert you if something went wrong.
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