Taking the fight to cybercrime
BANGKOK, April 3, 2015 – Drive-by downloads. Man in the Middle attacks. Fake installers. Rogue certificates. Bot zombies. Spyware, malware, Trojans.
Cybersecurity threats and cybercrime are getting more complicated, more pervasive and more dangerous in Thailand and around the world. There are thousands of attacks every day – targeting governments, the public and now in growing intensity, enterprises of all sizes.
In response to these growing cyber threats, the Electronic Transactions Development Agency (ETDA) has collaborated with BSA | The Software Alliance to launch the Safe Digital Life | Thailand campaign to strike back the growing cyber threats. The campaign will aim to create greater vigilance in practicing safe online computing habits.
“We are highly alarmed about cybersecurity threats and the risks cybercrime poses in Thailand. We are connected to the Internet and each other at unprecedented levels – and this connection helps us in many ways of doing business, governing, learning, performing daily tasks and communicating – however, with all of these conveniences comes major risks that must be addressed,” said Mrs. Surangkana Wayuparb, chief executive of the Electronic Transactions Development Agency (ETDA).
Thailand is No. 3 in the world for location based attacks and No.1 in ASEAN for website defacement. Moreover, ETDA’s Thai Computer Emergency Response Team (ThaiCert) found at least 3 million computers out of 8 million were affected with Botnet malware used by attackers to make it difficult to trace the source.
In addition, the high rate of unlicensed software downloaded on PCs in Thailand (71% according to IDC’s Study in 2014) exposes Thai end-users, both corporate and individuals, to cybercrime attacks. According to a recent report by IDC, upwards of 84 percent of new PCs sold in Thailand loaded with pirated software are infected with dangerous malware that can allow cyber criminals to steal passwords, commit fraud, and gain access to confidential or private information. The IDC also states that the higher the unlicensed PC software rate in a country, the more malware generally encountered on PCs in that country. The IDC study indicated that the correlation between pirated software and malware is greater than the correlation between smoking and cancer.
The implication for enterprises and end users is that eliminating unlicensed software on their networks will reduce the risk of cybersecurity incidents, added Mrs. Surangkana.
“Cybercrime and the weakened security of pirated software is a dangerous combination. The consequences of cybercrime are immediate and irreversible. When the money or data disappears to a criminal network in another nation – it is probably not coming back to Thailand. The digital lives of Thai people and Thai business depend upon all parties doing their part – and using legal software is the best first line of defense,” said Mr. Roland Chan, BSA Senior Director, Compliance Programs, APAC.
Experts from the private sector concur.
“From the research, it seems clear that pirated software is a gateway to cybercrime because ultimately unlicensed software is not updated with the latest security patches, so any company or government agency running unlicensed software has opened a door to cybercrime,” said
Mr. Thanwa Wathahong, associate director, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), a campaign partner. “Licensed software is a good starting point for defense, particularly in Thailand where the piracy rate is so high.”
Manufacturing companies, which make up 60 percent of Thailand’s economy, are among the primary targets because of perceptions among hackers that supply chains are vulnerable to attack. In one example cited by PwC, cyber criminals were able to infiltrate the financial system of a Thai export company and diverted a payment of more than 3 million baht from its overseas customer a bank account owned by a cybercriminal gang. Investigators from PwC discovered that the cyber criminals gained access to the victims secured email system with the help of malware that cannot be detected by unlicensed software.
The goal of this campaign is to arm the Thai private sector, public sector and general public with tips and tools to improve online safety. With people in Thailand spending more time online, and with high profile cybercrimes happening with regularity, there is a need to help people understand the importance of safe online behavior, and to supply practical tools and tips that will help everyone to protect their digital lives.
Among the other tips provided by ETDA are to set strong passwords and do not share passwords; watch for suspicious programs hidden on networks, keep system, anti-virus software and internet browsers optimized through regular updates; do not install pirated or unlicensed software; do not visit high-risk websites; process online transactions through websites that use https//; do not reveal personal information on social networks; comply with the law on Internet use; be cautious about information received from potentially unreliable sources.
ETDA’s belief is that government actions alone are not enough, and that the private sector and public must also increase their awareness levels about best practices to maintain cybersecurity.
“It is clear that we cannot predict when a cybercrime will occur nor can we predict how it will occur,” said Mrs. Surangkana. “But we must all learn to understand the risks, the ways we can reduce risks and keep the Internet a safer place for everyone. This campaign is the first step in bringing better cybersecurity to Thailand.”
Safe Digital Life | Thailand is a national cyber security education and awareness campaign supported by the Electronic Transactions Development Agency (ETDA) and BSA | The Software Alliance. The campaign was created by the coalition of ETDA, the non-profit BSA and PwC. Learn how to get involved at etda.or.th.
The Electronic Transactions Development Agency is the main public agency in the Kingdom of Thailand responsible for developing, enhancing, and supporting electronic transactions that are reliable, secure and safe from cyber security threats. ETDA has continuously developed human resources in order to increase the number of professionals and strengthen national cybersecurity, with the Thailand Computer Emergency Response Team or ThaiCERT as the main mechanism to manage cyber security threats. For more information visit www.etda.or.th.
BSA | The Software Alliance (www.bsa.org) is the leading global advocate for the software industry. It is an association of world-class companies that invest billions of dollars annually to create software solutions that spark the economy and improve modern life. Through international government relations, intellectual property enforcement and educational activities, BSA expands the horizons of the digital world and builds trust and confidence in the new technologies driving it forward.