Monday, May 27, 2024

SE Asia plagued with ransomware menace in 2023 — Kaspersky

A total of 287,413 ransomware incidents were detected by Kaspersky cybersecurity solutions for businesses in Southeast Asia (SEA) from January to December 2023.

Experts from the cybersecurity company urged organizations, regardless of shape and size, to beef up their IT security posture as ransomware, especially the targeted type, continues to be a damaging menace for organizations in the region.

“The era of widespread mass attacks by encryptors on both individuals and businesses is gradually fading away. Instead, we are witnessing a shift towards organized groups that execute hacks involving data theft and encryption, commonly referred to as double extortion. The rationale behind this evolution lies in the perpetrators’ ability to operate with greater efficiency, thereby enabling them to demand significantly higher ransom sums,” said Fedor Sinitsyn, lead malware analyst at Kaspersky.

Ransomware targeting businesses in SEA last year was highest in Thailand with 109,315 incidents blocked by Kaspersky. Indonesia trails closely with 97,226 ransomware attacks and Vietnam with 59,837. The Philippines came fourth with 15,312 malicious encryptors, followed by Malaysia with 4,982, and Singapore with 741.

Last year, ransomware became a constant subject of news headlines across SEA. High-profile incidents involve a bank in Indonesia, a public health insurer in the Philippines, a public train transportation system in Malaysia, a famous hotel and casino in Singapore, the largest media conglomerate in Thailand, and an energy company in Vietnam.

“It’s evident that the threat actors behind ransomware attacks target all sectors in Southeast Asia. The total number of attempts may be lower, but organizations need to realize the real impact of each successful ransomware infection, both on the financial and reputation fronts,” Yeo Siang Tiong, general manager for Southeast Asia and Asia Emerging Economies at Kaspersky.

“It’s imperative for businesses here to look into cybersecurity technologies that provide absolute anti-ransomware effectiveness in third-party exams. Because not all cybersecurity solutions are created equal.”

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