SERDANG: As many as 30 Malaysians fall victim to cyber crime daily, with fraud and intrusion cases being the most common.
And the worst part is that Malaysia's national cyber security specialist agency believes those numbers are just scratching the surface, as many more cases may have gone unreported or unnoticed by victims.
Viruses could be laying dormant in smartphones or computers waiting to copy banking passwords, social media accounts connected to public WiFi maybe vulnerable to hacking, while others are still falling for old tricks in the cyber-scamming book.
"The weakest link in cyber security is people," said CyberSecurity Malaysia chief executive officer Dr Amirudin Abdul Wahab.
He said that Malaysians have become relatively tech-savvy, but their understanding on how to protect themselves online was still lacking.
He contended that better education on how to handle website settings and how to act online would decrease the number of "gullible" Malaysians and cyber crime cases which were steadily increasing every year.
"We offer about 26 programmes on our website cyberguru.my that covers basic to professional level cyber security training.
"We want to teach people to be smart users of the Internet, how to avoid becoming victims and how to overcome a problem if they had already fallen victim," he said.
Some of the courses include classes for parents to keep an eye on their young children and how to filter the contents they surf online, how to sniff out emails that may have viruses and even data encryption for beginners. Most classes are one to two days long.
So far, CyberSecurity had received 3,752 cases of online fraud and intrusion and a shocking 191,096 reports of botnet and malware infections by unique IP addresses this year alone.
Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar, last week called on Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) to provide courses on cyber security to train policemen to handle the growing threat.
Focusing on cyber crimes and cyber security would also help in the fight against Islamic State, added Khalid.
Responding to Khalid, Amirudin pointed out that the agency and UKM were already offering a Master of Cyber Security course since 2013 and encouraged more police officers to learn.
"Skills in investigating cyber crime here are still new. In addition to CyberSecurity Malaysia, we also have digital forensic labs in the Malaysian Communications And Multimedia Commission (MCMC), the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and the police.
"However, our specialist lab is the only one in Asia Pacific recognised by the American Society of Criminal Lab Directors (ASCLAB).
"This sector is flourishing because of the trend now that crime is becoming more cyber, we encourage the police as per the IGP's statement to come for this programme," he said.