KUALA LUMPUR: A total of 103,573 mobile malware attempts were detected in Malaysia last year in tandem with the increased usage of e-payment platforms, according to data from Kaspersky Security Network.
Generally, 99.9 per cent of the mobile threats were targeted on Android and less than 0.1 per cent on iOS, it said.
Kaspersky Asia Pacific managing director Chris Connell said cybercriminals have several tactics on their sleeves such as tricking consumers into downloading fake, legitimate-looking e-wallet apps, which actually are malware aiming to infect smartphones used for digital payments.
“They are constantly coming up with innovative tactics to compromise e-wallet platforms. And with the ongoing pandemic plus the festive season, we see more social engineering tricks like phishing and scams to trick the human mind,” he said in a statement today.
Kaspersky Mobile Malware Evolution 2020 report also noted that cybercriminals constantly monitor the situation in the world, collecting the most interesting topics for potential victims and then use these for infection or cheating consumer out of their money.
The year 2020 gave cybercriminals a large number of powerful news topics, of which COVID-19 was the biggest. AdWare (also known as advertisement-supported software) led the mobile threats in 2020, with 57.26 per cent as compared to 21.81 per cent in 2019.
Kaspersky detected 156,710 mobile banking Trojans twice in 2020.
Connell said consumer awareness is one of the most critical components of mitigating cyber risks, especially as Malaysia takes on trends like digitalisation, Internet of Things, and 5G.
“For us, at Kaspersky, we have been working with small and medium business organisations and universities in Malaysia to spread tips on how to improve one’s online habits against fraudulent schemes.
“When it comes to ‘DuitRaya’, it would undoubtedly be safer to use the digital payment path as long as proper safety measures are followed,” he added.
Meanwhile, concurring with him, territory manager Nicole Woo said cybercrimals never stopped to threaten consumers, especially that Hari Raya is also a season of giving whereby consumers use cashless applications (app) operating from different types of e-wallet providers and banks.
“We should be extra cautious towards this possible threats to trick the consumers,” she said during Kaspersky’s virtual Iftar held today.
Kaspersky also shares some tips to help Malaysians harness securely the rising cashless technology during this Hari Raya festive season, including to ensure that smartphones have the updated operating system, consider having a solid cybersecurity app installed on smartphones, and to verify the site or app that you will be using. — Bernama