In the latest top 10 list of countries with the most web-borne threats annually released by cybersecurity firm Kaspersky, the Philippines slid from its former No. 4 ranking to No. 6 in 2020.
According to the 2020 Kaspersky Security Network (KSN) report, Kaspersky solutions installed in PCs across the country in 2020 detected 44.4 million different internet-borne threats. That is about 37.19% higher compared to the 27.9 million web threats detected in the country in 2019.
At the same time, four out of 10 (42.2%) of local online users were almost infected with cyber threats the entire 2020. In comparison, it was 44.4% in 2019.
“One thing that all of us would remember very well about 2020 other than Covid-19 was the shift of major tasks online—mostly within the confines of our homes,” said Kaspersky Southeast Asia General Manager Yeo Siang Tiong. “It is now a common scenario to see working parents juggle work and assisting kids with their online classes. The stress of finding balance has understandably affected each of us emotionally and psychologically, which created the best scenario for cybercriminals to exploit the situation.”
Kaspersky experts noted that there were two noticeable trends that spurred the change of percentage of users attacked by web threats globally, not just in the Philippines. First, the number of users that encounter web miners dropped 1.5 times. Second, the volume of users that encounter web skimmers rose by up to 20%. Web skimmers or sniffers steal credit card data of customers from websites through scripts embedded in online stores.
The same report also showed that 47.4% of Filipino users were attempted to be attacked by local threats in 2020 compared to 56.9% of those affected in 2019. Local threats are local infections carried out via malware spread through offline platforms like removable USB drivers, DVDs, and CDs.