Vietnam most likely Asia-Pacific nation to encounter ransomware: Microsoft

A man watch the live telecast of Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin speech about the conditional movement control order in Kuala Lumpur May 10, 2020. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

HANOI, Jun 26, 2020, VN Express. Vietnam had the highest encounter rate with ransomware in the Asia-Pacific region in 2019, a recent Microsoft cybersecurity report says. Ransomware is a type of malicious software that blocks access to a computer system until a sum of money is paid, VN Express reported.

The Security Endpoint Threat Report 2019, published earlier this month, identifies cyber threats and looks at building cyber resilience across the Asia-Pacific region. It analyzes data from January to December 2019 from diverse Microsoft data sources, including 8 trillion threat signals received and analyzed by Microsoft every day.

Vietnam had the highest encounter rate with ransomware in the Asia-Pacific region, followed by Indonesia and India, the report said. The country also has the third highest encounter rate with malware in the region, behind Indonesia and Sri Lanka, and the third highest encounter rate with cryptocurrency mining, behind Sri Lanka and India.

The Asia-Pacific region continued to experience a higher-than-average encounter rate for malware and ransomware attacks: 1.6 and 1.7 times higher respectively than the rest of the world, despite a 23 and 29 percent overall decline across these two threat vectors when compared to 2018 findings, a press release on the report said.

Developing countries, including Vietnam, were most vulnerable to malware and ransomware threats in 2019, it added.

“Often, high malware encounters correlate with both piracy rates and overall cyber hygiene that includes regular patching and updating of software. Countries that have higher piracy rates and lower cyber hygiene tend to be more severely impacted by cyberthreats,” said Mary Jo Schrade, Assistant General Counsel of the Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit, Microsoft Asia.

The report recommends users to update all their devices with the latest security updates, install antivirus, be alert to links and attachments and use multi-factor authentication to secure their accounts.

Businesses are advised to have strong tools to safeguard employees and infrastructure, ensure employee guidelines are communicated clearly and choose trusted applications for audio/video calling and file sharing.

In the first four months of 2020, the Department of Information Security recorded a total 1,056 cyber-attacks on information systems in Vietnam – 553 phishing attacks, 280 website defacement attacks and 223 malware attacks, down 51.4 percent compared to the same period in 2019.

Share it

Exclusive: Beyond the Covid-19 world's coverage