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Kaspersky blocks close to 1M financial phishing attacks eyeing SEA businesses last year

Kaspersky in 2022 has blocked a total of 822,536 financial phishing targeted at companies in Southeast Asia (SEA). From SMBs to large enterprises, financial phishers kept trying to infect businesses in the region last year.

Phishing is one of the most prevalent forms of cybercrime due to the minimal effort required and the fact that it really works. 

It’s usually built around an inherently simple scheme: using carefully crafted emails or notifications that mimic messages from banks, government organizations, entertainment platforms—really any service—cybercriminals can trick users into following a link to a fraudulent website and giving up their payment or personal details or even downloading malicious programs.

Kaspersky in 2022 has blocked a total of 822,536 financial phishing targeted at companies in Southeast Asia (SEA). From SMBs to large enterprises, financial phishers kept trying to infect businesses in the region last year.

In this case, “financial phishing” refers not only to banking specific phishing but also payment systems and e-shops. Payment system phishing includes pages impersonating well-known payment brands, such as PayPal, MasterCard, American Express, Visa and others. E-shops refer to online stores and auction sites like Amazon, the Apple Store, Steam, eBay etc.

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Indonesia chalked up the highest number of financial phishing incidents (208,238). Vietnam comes second  with 172,694, and Malaysia recorded 120,656. Thailand logged 101,461 phishing attempts related to finances, followed by the Philippines with 52,914, and Singapore with 22,109.

“It’s interesting to see companies being targeted by financial phishing but we have to remember here that businesses, at their core, are still made up of humans. Phishing is a type of social engineering attack. Social engineering attack is dubbed as hacking of the human mind. With nine out of ten employees needing basic cybersecurity skills training, cybercriminals know that the workforce remains a loophole they can exploit easily to launch a cyberattack against a company,” says Yeo Siang Tiong, General Manager for Southeast Asia at Kaspersky.

As reported, phishing email is usually the first chapter of 91% of all cyberattacks. A phishing simulation done by Kaspersky reinforced how cybercriminals trick employees into clicking malicious mails. 

It showed that workers tend not to notice pitfalls hidden in emails devoted to corporate issues and online delivery problem notifications and almost one in five (16% to 18%) clicked the link in the email templates imitating these phishing attacks.

Among the other phishing emails that gained a significant number of clicks are; reservation confirmations from a booking service (11%), a notification about an order placement (11%), and an IKEA contest announcement (10%).

To prevent complex attacks, and any related financial and reputational losses caused by phishing attacks, Kaspersky recommends the following for businesses:

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  • Remind your employees about the basic signs of phishing emails. A dramatic subject line, mistakes and typos, inconsistent sender addresses and suspicious links;
  • If there is any doubt about the received email, check the format of attachments before opening them and the link accuracy before clicking. This can be achieved by hovering over these elements – making sure the address looks authentic and the attached files are not in an executable format;
  • Always report phishing attacks. If you spot a phishing attack, report it to your IT security department and, if possible, avoid opening the malicious email. This will allow your cybersecurity team to reconfigure anti-spam policies and prevent an incident;
  • Supply your employees with basic cybersecurity knowledge. Education should be aimed at changing the behavior of learners and teaching them how to deal with threats. As a major cybersecurity vendor, Kaspersky possesses a relevant base of information on real attacks and continuously supplements its Security Awareness Trainings in accordance with the current threat landscape;
  • Since phishing attempts can be confusing, and there’s no guarantee of avoiding all accident clicks, protect your working devices and your enterprise perimeters with a holistic expert security like Kaspersky Extended Detection and Response (XDR) platform. It provides anti-spam capabilities, tracks suspicious behavior, and creates a backup copy of your files in case of ransomware attacks. Anti-phishing protection is also included, as well as threat hunting.

Enterprises can find out more about this new platform at go.kaspersky.com/expert .

Kaspersky in Southeast Asia also has launched a Buy 1 Free 1 promo. Businesses can now enjoy two years of enterprise-grade endpoint protection for the price of 1 with Kaspersky Endpoint Security for Business or Cloud or Kaspersky Endpoint Detection and Response Optimum, with 24×7 phone support. Interested customers can reach out to sea.sales@kaspersky.com.  

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