A global security software company has warned that ransomware attacks, ATM malware and exploit kits are the three ¬¬primary cybersecurity threats in Thailand. The country is ranked in the top ten for ransomware attacks throughout the entire Asia-Pacific region, as reported by a leading technology marketing expert from Trent Micro, Myla Pilao. She went on to state that in just the first six months of 2016 Thailand has experienced 1.5% of the World’s total ransomware attacks; 12% of the overall number that have occurred in the Asia-Pacific region. These attack rates haven’t always been this high. The frequency of these incidents has increased a great deal in this year alone. During this time the number of households affected has risen a whopping 172% with the cost to victims estimated at around US$209 million.
For those of us that aren’t tech savvy, this ransomware is best described as a form of malware (hostile software e.g. viruses). The term “ransom” describes the way in which this malware encrypts files and prevents access to these files then demands a ransom to allow the user to access them.
Thailand is only the latest in a long list of countries plighted by ATM malware. These attacks come at some considerable cost to banks, requiring them to constantly update security patches for their software and implement new networks to prevent successful cyberattacks. Ms Pilao expressed her concerns, stating that many banks and organisations throughout Thailand need to pay close attention to these threats and consistently re-evaluate cyber security strategies. Banks in Thailand are beginning to take note and efforts are being made to make successful attacks more difficult. It will prove to be a constant battle.