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Malaysia Experiencing Rise in Cyber Crimes

According to CyberSecurity Malaysia, cyber security specialist, there is need for a dedicated "cyber court" in the country given that cyber crimes increased tremendously during 2008.

Lt. Col. (retired) Husin Jazri, Chief Executive Officer of CyberSecurity, said that the total number of Internet crimes reported in 2008 by the security firm had grown more than twice the previous estimates. Moreover, the situation might get worse this year (2009), as reported by thestaronline on January 16, 2009.

According to Jazri, in 2008, the organization dealt with 2,123 incidents of cyber crime, more than 100% increase in comparison to 2007 when the company dealt with 1,038 incidents.

The reports received from the organization revealed that nearly 50% of the incidents reported were related to fraud, while the rest to malicious code and intrusions like malware infections, spam, online harassment, malicious websites, intrusions etc.

Moreover, over 4,000 cyber complaints, majority of them relating to cyber crimes, were filed with CyberSecurity Malaysia between 2007 and 08. The complaints comprised fraud, hack threats, Denial-of-Service conditions and other PC problems like viruses corrupting files or data getting exposed.

Further, as the Internet usage in the country grows, the total number of online transactions along with other activities is likely to increase, which, in turn, increase the number of online crime incidences. Besides, growth in broadband and wireless capacity makes the Internet more convenient and quicker to use. But unfortunately, these utilities could be used as means for Internet crimes.

In addition, the ongoing economic crisis across the world will also boost cyber crimes. The problem of insufficient awareness about cyber security or Internet-safety practices among Malaysians surfing on the Web continues to pose a big challenge. For example, some users do not own a distinct password while many are not updating their security software.

Commenting on this, Malaysian Police said that to an unwary person, a fraudulent website appears to be the bank's real website. Similarly, an innocent recipient thinks that an e-mail announcing a 'prize win' is genuine. Therefore, it is hardly surprising that online crimes involving banking fraud and phishing rose 619% in 2008 over 2007.

Related article: Mules Arrested for Involvement in Phishing Attacks on ABN AMRO

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