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Kaspersky List Thailand as the Top Country for Ransomware Attacks

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ransomware Kaspersky
Thailand has become a major target for threat actors: File Image

A report from Kaspersky cybersecurity has reviled that Thailand experienced the most ransomware attacks in Southeast Asia last year. In 2023, Thailand had the third highest amount of local threats, defined as risks from external devices such as USB flash drives.

“Thailand has become a major target for threat actors who are increasingly using different tactics to launch sophisticated attacks on businesses and organisations,” said Benjamas Chuthapiphat, Kaspersky’s territory manager in Thailand.

Personal data dumps have made headlines, and both commercial and governmental service platforms have been affected, she explained.

A sample of leaked data will be uploaded on dark-web marketplaces, with crooks attempting double or treble ransom.

Double extortion occurs when cybercriminals exfiltrate data prior to encryption. Exfiltrating the data allows the attackers to demand a ransom in exchange for not publicly disclosing or selling the data. Triple extortion puts further pressure on the victim, such as encrypting more of an organization’s material and demanding payment to unlock it.

Other prominent dangers include phishing and smishing scams that attempt to download and install malware on personal and business devices.

phishing and smishing

Phishing is the practice of sending communications that appear to come from reliable sources in order to trick people into disclosing personal information. Smishing scams entail a call from an unknown number, frequently pretending to be from a respected company.

Businesses and organizations in Thailand have also been vulnerable to critical cyber-attacks, according to Ms Benjamas.

According to Kaspersky, Thailand had the most number of ransomware occurrences in 2023, with 109,315 detected. Indonesia ranked second with 97,226. Out of 42 million local threat episodes in the area, the country had the third most (4.7 million), trailing only Vietnam (17 million) and Indonesia (16.4 million).

Kaspersky also detected 10.2 million RDP (remote desktop protocol) attacks in Thailand, which ranked third in Southeast Asia after Vietnam with 25.9 million and Indonesia with 11.7 million.

An RDP attack enables the attacker to acquire remote access to the target host computer.

Meanwhile, Kaspersky’s business-to-business solutions prevented 25,227 financial phishing attempts in Thailand, ranking fifth among 455,708 attempts in Southeast Asia.

The Philippines faced the most blocks (163,279), followed by Malaysia (124,105), Indonesia (97,465), Vietnam (36,130), and Singapore (9,502), which had the fewest.

ransomware

Ransomware Digital Extortion

Ransomware is a malicious software that encrypts your files, holding them hostage until you pay a hefty ransom. It’s like digital kidnapping, with cybercriminals seizing control of your data and demanding payment to release it. This insidious threat has evolved rapidly, targeting individuals, businesses, and even critical infrastructure.

Once ransomware infiltrates your system, it swiftly scrambles your files, making them inaccessible. The perpetrators then present a chilling ultimatum: pay up or kiss your data goodbye. The ransom demands often come with strict deadlines and escalating costs, creating a pressure-cooker situation.

These attacks don’t just impact your data; they can cripple entire operations. Businesses face costly downtime, reputational damage, and potential lawsuits. Even if you pay the ransom, there’s no guarantee your files will be safely recovered. It’s a high-stakes gamble with dire consequences.

Ransomware operators continually refine their tactics, exploiting vulnerabilities and leveraging sophisticated techniques to evade detection. They target backups, encrypt entire networks, and even threaten to leak sensitive data – a double whammy of extortion.

Protecting against ransomware requires a multi-layered approach: robust security measures, regular backups, and rigorous user education. It’s an ongoing battle against a relentless adversary, but one we must fight to safeguard our digital lives and livelihoods.

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