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Malaysians need to increase security awareness

AvantiKumar | May 13, 2011
CyberSecurity Malaysia reacts to Microsoft's latest Security Intelligence Report.

Microsoft and CyberSecurity Malaysia discuss SIR v10

PHOTO - (From left) Dr. Dzahar Mansor, national technology officer, Microsoft Malaysia; Vinny Gullotto, general manager of Microsoft's Malware Protection Centre; Vinny Gullotto, general manager of Microsoft's Malware Protection Centre and  Lt. Col. Dato' Husin Hj Jazri (Retired), chief executive officer of CyberSecurity Malaysia.

KUALA LUMPUR, 13 MAY 2011 - Malaysian government security agency CyberSecurity Malaysia says Malaysians need to be become even more security-conscious during the release of software giant Microsoft's latest Security Intelligence Report.

"Microsoft Security Intelligence Report (SIR) volume 10 shows that there has been a polarisation in cyber criminal behaviour and that marketing techniques are being used to target consumers," said CyberSecurity Malaysia chief executive officer, Lt. Col. Dato' Husin Hj Jazri (Retired).

Husin said that apart from malicious and potentially unwanted software, Malaysian Internet users also face other forms of threats due to the low awareness surrounding the issue. "The level of awareness among Malaysian Internet users on safety issues in cyberspace needs to be intensified, now more than ever, to keep up with the rapidly growing number of citizens. Currently there are 17 million Internet users in Malaysia."

During the release of the report in Kuala Lumpur, Microsoft Malware Protection Centre (MMOC) general manager Vinny Gullotto said the study indicated a divergence in cyber criminal behaviour. "On one side, highly sophisticated criminals skilled at creating exploits and informed with intelligence about a target's environment, pursue high-value targets with large payoffs. On the other side, there are cyber criminals using more accessible attack methods, including social engineering tactics and leveraging exploits created by the more skilled criminals, to take a small amount of money from a large number of people. These attack methods include the use of rogue security software, phishing using social networking as the lure, and adware, all which have increased in prevalence in 2010."

Gullotto said that attackers continued to incorporate social lures that appear to be legitimate marketing campaigns and product promotions. "Six of the top 10 most prevalent malware families in the second half of 2010 fall into these categories of attack methods. Criminals using these malware families make money through tricking users with pay-per-click schemes, false advertisements, or fake security software for sale. Additionally, the report highlights an increase of more than 1,200 per cent in phishing using social networking as the lure, as these venues have become lucrative hot beds for criminal activity."

The Microsoft Security Intelligence Report (SIR) focuses on 2010 with new information for the period of July to December and gathers analysis of data from more than 600 million systems worldwide.


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