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Sophisticated attacks yield 50% more 'earnings' from cyber crime victims: Symantec Malaysia

AvantiKumar | Oct. 4, 2013
The borderless nature of the Internet combined with sophisticated attacks such as ransomware and spear-phishing is yielding more money per attack than ever before, says Symantec's Alex Ong.

Alex Ong - Symantec modified 

Photo - Alex Ong, Country Director, Symantec Malaysia.


Despite a reduction in the number of online adults who have fallen victim to cyber crime (from 46 percent in 2012 to 41 percent in 2013), the average cost per victim has increased by 50 percent (from US$197 in 2012 to US$298 in 2013), according to security solutions provider Symantec's 2013 Norton Report.

During the unveiling of the findings in Kuala Lumpur, Symantec Malaysia country director, Alex Ong, said: "With the borderless nature of the Internet, cyber crime threats are not confined to any specific country and Malaysia is not immune to it. Today's cyber criminals are using more sophisticated attacks such as ransomware and spear-phishing, which yield them more money per attack than ever before."

Ong said that with 49 percent consumers globally using their personal mobile device for both work and play, "this creates entirely new security risks for enterprises as cyber criminals have the potential to access even more valuable information."

He said this year's report further showed that as consumers become more mobile and connected, these conveniences often included a security cost.

"Despite the fact that 63 percent of those surveyed own smartphones and 30 percent own tablets, nearly one-in-two don't take basic precautions such as using passwords, having security software or backing up files on their mobile device."

"Consumers can no longer be careless in protecting their valuable information, whether it is their personal identity, credit card or financial details," said Ong. "With an increasing number of Malaysians connecting to the Internet using their mobile devices, they need to take proactive steps to protect their information from security risks, especially threats that come through mobile devices."


Symantec - David Rajoo 2 modified 

Photo - David Rajoo, Senior Technical Consultant, Symantec Malaysia.

 Digital IDs at risk

Symantec Malaysia senior technical consultant David Rajoo said: "Unfortunately while consumers are protecting their computers, there is a general lack of awareness to safeguard their smartphones and tablets. It's as if they have alarm systems for their homes, but they're leaving their cars unlocked with the windows wide open. This carelessness places them, and their digital identities, at risk."

Rajoo said that the latest report also noted that many consumers were trusting to luck when it came to protecting private information.

"Survey results show that this isn't entirely due to lack of awareness," he said. "In fact, one-third (34 percent) of consumers surveyed admitted that the convenience of being constantly connected outweighed any potential security risks. Even when 62 percent said that there is no such thing as 'online privacy' in today's world and 61 percent assume that "everything they put online will / can be seen by any and everyone." 

The Norton Report (formerly the Norton Cybercrime Report) is based on self-reported experiences of more than 13,000 adults across 24 countries, aimed at understanding how cyber crime affects consumers, and how the adoption and evolution of new technologies impacts consumers' security.

Between 4 July 2013 and 1 August, 2013, Edelman Berland conducted online interviews with 13,022 adults, aged 18 to 64 from 24 countries (Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Sweden, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, and United States of America).


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