Email attacks most favoured cyber attack in Malaysia in 2016

May 6, 2017
Email attacks were the most favoured weapon for a wide range of cyber attacks in the country last year. File photo by Free Images Live

Last year, email attacks were the most favoured weapon for a wide range of cyber attacks in the country.

Citing the 2016 cyber attack trend issued by Symantec’s Internet Security Threat Report (ISTR) Volume 22, Systems Engineering Malaysia director David Rajoo said the latest finding discovered that one out of 131 emails sent to users contained a malicious link or attachment.

“The latest statistics indicated that the rate of malicious emails in this country had increased four times within a year, whereby one out of the 131 emails were malicious in 2016 as compared to one out of 437 emails in 2015,” he told a media briefing entitled ‘Threat Landscape: Living off the Land Working with Ubiquitous Tools’ yesterday.

Also present was Cybersecurity Malaysia chief executive officer Amirudin Abdul Wahab.

Rajoo explained most of the attacks used simple deception to cajole victims into opening attachments, following links or disclosing their credentials.

“There was also a case of spear phishing emails such as spoofed emails instructing targets to reset their Gmail password,” he said.

As the email attack is expected to rise for years to come, he advised the user to be extra vigilant by removing any suspicious-looking email they received, especially if it contained suspicious links or attachment.

“Constantly changing email password every two months is also one of the safest ways to prevent such attacks,” he said.

Meanwhile, Amirudin said Cybersecurity Malaysia had recorded 1,331,333 spam emails received by internet users in Malaysia.

He described the recent statistics as alarming as it could pose a threat to internet users in the country, especially facing the risk of losing personal information.

“The public need to understand and adopt best practices to counter this threat. They should be extremely wary by not clicking to any unknown emails apart from keeping their operating system and software up-to-date,” he said. –Bernama