According to a new study from a Silicon Valley malware prevention and remediation company, Malaysia is less susceptible to malware than other emerging markets in the Asia Pacific region.
This is one of the findings in Malwarebytes’ recent Asia-Pacific State of Malware Report 2017, which places Malaysia fifth in volume of malware detected compared to other countries in the Asia-Pacific region.
Talking through some of the key findings, Jeff Hurmuses, who is Malwarebytes’ Asia-Pacific area vice president and managing director, said the latest data also points to a “significant shift in cybercriminal attacks and malware methodology from previous years.”
Hurmuses said the study reveals that it’s actually Android malware and botnets that are currently topping Malaysia’s current threat landscape.
“Malaysia ranks 10th in global botnet incidences, with Asia-Pacific as a whole accounting for more than 50 percent of botnet incidences globally,” he said.
The country is also seeing high amounts of Android malware and ranks 12th globally under this category. “Regarding its total malware infection rate, while it only accounts for one percent in Malaysia, the country is ranked top 20 globally.”
Hurmuses said the study examined data from more than one billion malware detections/incidences, covered more than 100 million devices in more than 200 countries, in both corporate and consumer environments. Data was also obtained from Malwarebytes’ internal honeypots and collection efforts to identify malware distribution, not just infections.
An intimate understanding of cyber criminals
He said that generally emerging markets in Asia-Pacific (Indonesia, India, Philippines, Thailand, and Malaysia) have proved to be more susceptible to malware infections than their counterparts.
“However, Malaysia performs the best among the emerging countries with a malware detection rate that is two to three times lower,” said Hurmuses, adding the proviso: “Nonetheless, Malaysia still ranks in the top 20 globally in terms of total malware detections.”
From a regional perspective, Asia-Pacific contributed significantly to the total number of malware infections detected globally, with three countries amongst the top 10 countries globally with most malware infections.
“To protect users in Malaysia from cybercriminals, we must possess an intimate understanding of their methodologies and tactics,” he said.
“In Malaysia, we are seeing that botnets and Android malware are particularly rampant,” said Hurmuses. “While malware infection rates only account for a small percentage in Malaysia in our current report, as a country with a population of over 30 million, and the government targeting to increase internet penetration to 95 percent by 2020, it is likely that more and more businesses and individuals will be exposed to cyber threats. Thus, it is imperative for everyone in the country to remain aware of new cyberattack methodologies and how they can impact them.”
Hurmuses first confirmed some key findings:
- Botnets and Android malware have risen to prominence in Malaysia’s current threat landscape
- Malaysia ranks 10th in global botnet incidences, with Asia-Pacific as a whole accounting for more than 50 percent of botnet incidences globally
- Malaysia is seeing high amounts of Android malware and ranks 12th globally under this category
- While total malware infection rate only accounts for one percent in Malaysia, the country is ranked top 20 globally
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