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Friday, 10 March 2017 10:05

Asia Pac cyber attacks up by a third: report

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Cyber attacks in the Asia Pacific region in the last quarter of 2016 have rised by 35% year-on-year, with organisations being targeted more and more by fraud attacks.

A report from digital identity company ThreatMetrix said at the global level cyber criminals were increasingly focusing on companies in the financial sector, with alternative payment and lending models under attack as well.

A third of transactions were made by mobile in the region, below the global average of 44%.

The report, titled ThreatMetrix Cybercrime Report, claimed that the last quarter of 2016 saw a big rise in device spoofing attacks in the Asia Pacific region. These mostly originated from Australia, India, China and Singapore.

"Due to the digital revolution happening across the Asia Pacific region, which is seeing more and more of people's daily lives move online, cyber crime is increasing dramatically," said Pascal Podvin, senior vice-president of field operations at ThreatMetrix.

"In particular, cross-border transactions are being regularly targeted by fraudsters in this region, and businesses are looking for more sophisticated ways to accurately identify genuine users versus cyber criminals in real time."

The report said, "the ThreatMetrix Digital Identity Network, which analyses about two billion transactions per month, detected 80 million attacks using fake or stolen credentials during 2016 in the finance sector.

"Another significant industry trend was the 250% growth in mobile transaction volume year-on-year, with almost 55% of financial services transactions now coming through mobile devices."

ThreatMetrix said it saw fraud attacks originating in developing countries including Brazil, Egypt, Ghana, Jordan, Nigeria and Macedonia.

"This is in keeping with the rise of emerging nations as players in online fraud across all industries. Brazil emerged in Q4 as a major attack destination, and ThreatMetrix saw a significant increase in attacks in Asia coming from Malaysia, Bangladesh and Pakistan as well as emerging economies including Tunisia, Ukraine, Serbia, Morocco, Guadeloupe, Qatar and Cuba. Identity spoofing is the leading attack vector in such economies," it said.

Alisdair Faulkner, chief products officer at ThreatMetrix, said: "The fact that developing nations are becoming bigger players in the online fraud game demonstrates the spread of breached identity data to countries across the globe.

"One in four transactions on our network is now cross-border, illustrating a global village economy that's continuing to take root. Global data breaches are making stolen identity data globally available via the dark web, and this information is traded by organised and networked crime rings."

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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