The Philippines is the fourth most attacked country in the world, with over 50 million web threat attempts last year, according to latest statistics from Kaspersky Security Network (KSN), the cybersecurity company’s cloud-based threat intelligence service.
From 2017 to 2021, the cyberthreats detected in the Philippines skyrocketed by 433 percent in KSN's malware-detection history.
In 2017, the Philippines only occupied the 30th place in the global ranking.
The monitored cyberthreat attempts logged on devices of Kaspersky users in 2017 were 9,487,775 compared to 50,544,988 in 2021.
This means Filipinos who have been mostly stuck at home surfing, working, banking, or studying via the web during the entire second year of the pandemic experienced heightened exposure to dangers in the internet.
The internet made it possible to carry on with work and school during the pandemic, noted Yeo Siang Tiong, Kaspersky General Manager for Southeast Asia. "The internet has also provided people a temporary escape from real life during lockdowns. This is true not just for Filipinos but for everyone around the world,” he said.
"Unfortunately, this means people will be more vulnerable to cyber-intrusion," stressed Yeo, adding that "we cannot stop using the internet so we really encourage Filipinos to be extra cautious and really get into the habit of practicing cyber-hygiene."
Yeo said that these “basic habits remain the same and include regularly scanning devices for viruses, changing passwords, keeping apps, software and operating systems up to date, and wiping your hard drive.”
Web threats are attacks via browsers. Cybercriminals normally use drive-by downloads and social engineering to spread malware to devices of internet users.
A drive-by download infection, which is used in most of the attacks, happens when visiting an infected website.
In such attacks, cybercriminals use file-less malware, the most dangerous way of infecting a device because it’s a complicated malware, difficult to detect and counter.
On the other hand, social engineering are attacks where an internet user downloads a malicious file into the computer.
This happens when cybercriminals trick the victim to believe he is downloading a legitimate program.
“Throughout this period until now that we are recovering and adapting to the new normal, we see nonstop activities from cybercriminals who have been honing their skills," according to Yeo.
Information on such suspicious and malicious files that attempt to penetrate internet-connected computers with Kaspersky products are sent with permission by device users to KSN.
This complex cloud infrastructure collects and analyzes cybersecurity-related data from millions of voluntary users of Kaspersky products around the world.
The threat-related data shared from computers of Philippine-based participants along with data from other Asia Pacific countries are processed in Kaspersky’s two data centers in Zurich, Switzerland.