Microsoft: Asia Pacific countries among the most vulnerable to malware threats

  • TECH
  • Thursday, 09 Feb 2017

Navigating the World Wide Web with the PC can be dangerous, but a few simple precautions can make it a whole lot safer.—

Emerging markets in Asia Pacific are among the ones facing the highest risk of cybersecurity threats, according to the latest Security Intelligence Report by software giant Microsoft.

Out of the top five locations across the globe most at risk of infection, two are located in Southeast Asia, namely Vietnam and Indonesia. 

Both locations had a malware encounter rate of more than 45% in the second quarter of 2016, which is more than double the worldwide average of over 21% during the same period. 

Other top markets experiencing  malware threats include large developing markets and Southeast Asia countries – Mongolia, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Cambodia, the Philippines, Thailand and India – each with encounter rates of more than 30%.

Malaysia on the other hand, ranked 11th in Asia Pacific, with a reported malware encounter rate of more than 27.6%, which is higher than the worldwide encounter rate of 20.8% during the same period.

Markets with higher levels of IT maturity such as Japan, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Hong Kong and Singapore have displayed malware encounter rates that are below the worldwide average, highlighting the diverse cybersecurity landscape in Asia Pacific.

In Malaysia, the top most encountered malware threats detected were Gamarue, Lodbak and Peals. 

Lodbak is a trojan that is usually installed on removable drives by Gamarue while Peals displays trojan characteristics. 

Gamarue is a worm which can give a malicious hacker control of your PC, steal information and change PC security settings.

According to Microsoft, Gamarue is commonly distributed via exploit kits and social engineering and can also be attached to spam mails.

“With increasing malware encounters and sophistication of cyberattacks, cybersecurity is becoming a mission critical priority for most organisations,” said Microsoft Malaysia director of corporate external and legal affairs Jasmine Begum.

Begum added that it generally takes an average up to 200 days for organisations to find out that they have been breached.

Also, organisations should also strongly consider adopting trusted cloud-based services to enjoy the highest levels of data protection, and take advantage of the cloud provider’s enterprise-grade security and privacy expertise, assurances and certifications according to Begum.

To download the full report, head to

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