Cybercrime is increasing at an alarming rate worldwide with more than a million people becoming victims every single day, according to the Norton Cybercrime Report 2011. The victims of cybercrime also paid dearly with a total loss of US$388bil (RM1. 21bil) to cybercriminals in 2010. Effendy Ibrahim, director of consumer business at Symantec Asia Pacific, said that cybercrimes don’t only cost victims financially but emotionally too.
On average, it takes 10 days for a victim to recover from a cybercrime and it can be emotional too considering the amount of data they lose,” he said at the launch of Norton 2012, Symantec’s latest cybersecurity solution. However, victims could have saved themselves money and regret as the type of cybercrimes they fell victim to were preventable. The report found that the most common type of cybercrimes are malware, scams and threats targeted at mobile devices. However many people tend to underestimate the dangers of online crime thinking that it will happen to everyone else but themselves.
The survey found that seven out of 10 adults thought they would more likely be a victim of physical crime rather than an online crime. “This is a lingering attitude users have when they are offline and it gets replicated when they are online,” Effendy said. The report also found that men, particularly those in the generation Y demographic, are most likely to become victims of cybercrimes. “Men spend more time online and do more ‘dangerous’ activities,” Effendy said. The report stated that more men watch adult content, gamble and participate in online dating sites compared to women.
All these are social engineering techniques and it’s quite easy to fall victims to such tactics,” Effendy said. Local threat landscape Although Malaysia wasn’t in the list of countries studied in the report, national cyberspace police Cybersecurity Malaysia said the findings are representative of the Malaysian threat landscape. “It is the same environment, so whatever that is happening in the world will definitely affect us the same way,” said Cybersecurity Malaysia chief executive officer, Lt Col (Rtd) Prof Datuk Husin Jazri.
He said the Malaysian cyberthreat landscape is no less alarming with over 10,000 cases reported every month up till August this year. Last year, Cybersecurity Malaysia received over 8,000 reports about cybercrime via its cyber999 hotline. Its Cyber Early Warning System has also detected over 5,000,000 security threats up until August. Given the increasing amount of cyberthreats, Husin said there is a need for more proactive measures to prevent more Internet users from becoming cybercrime victims and it will take more than reviewing or improving current cybersecurity laws. “Amending laws take time and it is slower than the prevailing problem.
We need to intensify education and awareness efforts to educate users on Internet risks,” he said. Husin said Cybersecurity Malaysia is open to the idea of working with security solution providers like Symantec to come up with cybersecurity awareness programmes. Cybersecurity Malaysia already has a list of home-made security tools such as DontPhishMe, DNSwatch and MyPHPiPs that protects users from cybercriminals which can be downloaded for free. It is also working on establishing a Cyber Clinic which will offer an extensive list of cybersecurity services to computer users. The clinic is expected to be ready before the end of the year.