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Symantec warns PH on cybercrime hike, reveals tips and tricks

By Patrick Alcantara - 15 Apr 2016

Symantec warns PH on cybercrime hike, reveals tips and tricks

Symantec's Internet Security Threat Report (ISTR) reveals a new modus of cybercriminals: they now adopt corporate best practices and establishing professional businesses in order to increase the efficiency of their attacks against enterprises and consumers. Peter Sparkes, Symantec's senior director of Cyber Security Services in Asia Pacific and Japan, warns consumers who use the Internet to become aware on how these cyber thieves behave on the World Wide Web. In a recent study, the Philippines ranks 20th globally and 3rd in Asia Pacific for social media scams, and 7th in Asia Pacific for ransomware attacks with an average of 17 attacks per day.


"Advanced criminal attack groups now echo the skill sets of nation-state attackers. They have extensive resources and a highly-skilled technical staff that operate with such efficiency that they maintain normal business hours and even take the weekends and holidays off," said Sparkes. "We are even seeing low-level criminal attackers create call center operations to increase the impact of their scams."

High adoption of social media and seamless Internet access in the Philippines is being exploited by cybercriminals to launch social media scams. In a global scale, we saw the largest data breach ever publicly reported last year with 191 million records compromised in a single incident. While 429 million identities were exposed, the number of companies that chose not to report the number of records lost jumped by 85 percent.

Ransomware also continued to evolve in 2015, with the more damaging style of crypto-ransomware attacks growing by 35 percent. This more aggressive crypto-ransomware attack encrypts all of a victim's digital content and holds it hostage until a ransom is paid. This year, ransomware spread beyond PCs to smartphones, Mac and Linux systems, with attackers increasingly seeking any network-connected device that could be held hostage for profit.

As attackers evolve, there are many steps businesses and consumers can take to protect themselves. Symantec recommends the following practices:

For businesses:

  • Use advanced threat and adversary intelligence solutions to help you find indicators of compromise and respond faster to incidents.
  • Employ a strong security posture
  • Prepare for the worst
  • Provide ongoing education and training

For consumers:

  • Use strong passwords
  • Think before you click
  • Protect yourself
  • Be wary of scareware tactics
  • Safeguard your personal data