As the number of mobile malware attacks in the Philippines has declined, a global cybersecurity firm Kaspersky sounded the alarm about cybercriminals becoming “increasingly inventive” with increasingly sophisticated attacks.
Kaspersky data revealed that detected attack attempts of Filipino mobile users in 2021 fell to 34,010, or 38.84% from 2020. The cybersecurity firm, however, pointed out that the downward trend in Mobile malware attacks in Southeast Asian countries doesn’t mean the public should let their guard down.
“At first glance, it may appear that cybercriminals are becoming less active due to the decrease in mobile malware attacks. But it’s a global trend and it doesn’t necessarily mean we’re safer,” said Yeo Siang Tiong, Kaspersky’s general manager for Southeast Asia.
The company warned the public about malicious code in the form of Trojans injected into third-party ad modules, loaded into legitimate programs to look like updates, or added to legitimate apps on app stores. applications such as google play and Android APKPure.
Trojan horses are malicious software that can delete, block, modify or copy data to disrupt the performance of computer devices or networks. Unlike viruses and worms, Trojan horses cannot copy themselves. The top mobile malware attacks detected in the Philippines are also all Trojans.
In 2021, the Philippines was the hardest hit by banking Trojans in the Asia-Pacific region, accounting for 22.26% of all banking Trojans discovered in the region in the same year. Banking Trojans, which the cybersecurity firm considers the most dangerous type of malware, allow cybercriminals to steal money from victims’ online bank accounts and e-wallets.
As the country continues to experience a boom in digital payments and cashless transactions, Kaspersky also warned the public against fake calls from banking Trojans, where the malware would call if the victim attempted to contact their bank and would replace it with a pre-recorded response from a fake bank representative stored in the body of the Trojan. This would lead the victim to believe that a bank employee answered the call.
Of the two million aggregate mobile attacks detected by Kaspersky in Southeast Asia from 2019 to 2021, the Philippines leads, alongside Indonesia and Malaysia, in recording the highest number of such attacks. type of mobile threats.
The cybersecurity firm advised users to download apps from trusted developers, ignore apps that promise overly generous payouts, and be wary of giving apps access to users’ personal information.