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ASEAN Region Likely to See More Phishing Attacks in Coming Years

According to Gemalto, a security company, phishing attacks increased significantly in the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) region between 2004 and 2008, with Malaysia experiencing 1/78 attacks and the Philippines experiencing 1/111 attacks. In fact, the company's experts accounted the worldwide rate of phishing success at 3%.

With the growth in daily online transactions of netizens, Internet users would increasingly face threat from online fraudsters, observe the company experts. According to them, everything ranging from hacking to spamming, phishing, and online ID thefts is expected to rise at an incredible rate.

Furthermore, with low awareness of the significance of online security and a shortage of IT-related resources particularly IT personnel, phishing attempts will certainly increase.

Apart from this, online phishers and scammers keep on enhancing their dexterity and use more advanced and sophisticated methods to bypass anti-malware systems. They also invent phishing tools that can carry malware to infect systems.

Ng Fook Seng, Senior Vice-President of Security Business in Asia, Gemalto, tried to persuade all Internet users to install anti-phishing software on their computers. He also stated that digital security in the Asia-Pacific region was maintained from the business point of view instead of regulatory standards or laws established in the industry, as reported by NETWORKWORLD on January 24, 2009.

Further, as USB sticks have become increasingly popular among hackers and phishers for malware distribution, a major challenge for the security company is to raise awareness among its consumers about the dangers of cyber-threats like spamming, hacking and phishing, as well as the importance of combating them. This awareness, feels Gemalto, could establish a strong link with all the back-end resources the end-user attempts to connect to.

Citing the case of Australia, Ng stated that the country had 7 Million Internet banking users, implying that 210,000 Australian bank accountholders could potentially have their accounts 'phished' or stolen. Therefore, according to Ng, Australia was essentially becoming a preferred target for online scammers, in addition to their all time favorite target, the USA.

Related article: ACMA Unleashes SpamMATTERS - the New anti-spam Button

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