Malicious Mailings Targeting Malaysia Put the Country in the Top Ten of 2022

Kaspersky, a leading cybersecurity company, has reported a significant increase in the number of malicious email attachments in 2022 compared to the previous year. According to their data, 18 million more attachments were detected, with the highest number of triggers occurring in March, May, and June. In Malaysia, the percentage of such threats rose from 2.62% in 2021 to nearly 3% in 2022.

The email attachments that Malaysian users received often pretended to be legitimate business correspondence, such as commercial offers, invoices, or bank transfer slips, to trick recipients into opening them. However, when opened, these attachments would load a trojan that could cause harm to the recipient’s device or data.

It can be challenging to distinguish between genuine and phishing emails, especially when they appear to be from a trusted source. Kaspersky’s data shows that many phishing pages were hosted on websites with .com domain names and often related to entertainment content, which may have attracted victims.

Chris Connell, Managing Director for Asia Pacific at Kaspersky, predicts that scams promising compensation or payouts from government agencies, large corporations, or banks will remain popular among cybercriminals in 2023. He also notes that while web threats in Malaysia have decreased in the past five years, cybercriminals are becoming more creative in their tactics to lure victims. Therefore, it is crucial to protect devices with reliable security software.

Kaspersky Secure Network (KSN) reported that Malaysia had 61.3 million web threats in 2021, which decreased to 37.1 million in 2022. The Malaysian Communications and Digital Ministry has called for state governments and agencies to prioritize cybersecurity, a step towards a safer Malaysia. Kaspersky is ready to collaborate and share knowledge with the public and private sectors in Malaysia to ensure the security of Malaysians and companies in the country.

To stay protected against malicious mailings, Kaspersky recommends users the following:

• Do not download and install applications from untrusted sources

• Do not click on any links from unknown sources or suspicious online advertisements

• Create strong and unique passwords, including a mix of lower-case and upper-case letters, numbers, and punctuation, as well as activating two-factor authentication

• Always install updates. Some of them may contain critical security issue fixes

• Ignore messages asking to disable security systems for office or cybersecurity software

• Use a robust security solution appropriate to your system type and devices, such as Kaspersky Internet Security or Kaspersky Security Cloud. It will tell you which sites shouldn’t be open and protect you from malware

15 March 2023

Author: Terry KS

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