Trend Micro: Malaysia records 69% decline in ransomware detections in 2023

  • TECH
  • Wednesday, 24 Apr 2024

Similar to Malaysia, other countries in the region, such as Indonesia, Singapore, and the Philippines, also experienced a reduction in ransomware detection. — 123rf

PETALING JAYA: Cybersecurity company Trend Micro released a report stating that there was a decrease in ransomware detection in Malaysia last year, with a 69% drop compared to the year before.

The Calibrating Expansion: Annual Cybersecurity Threat Report also showed a year-over-year reduction in a number of other threats in Malaysia, with a 52% decline in malicious hosted URL threats being the most notable.

Malicious hosted URL threats are websites that host harmful content such as malware, phishing pages or malicious software designed to compromise visitors' security.

This was followed by a reduction in online banking malware (by 42%), email threats (26%), botnet victims (21%) and URL victims (5%). However, there was a slight increase – 1% – in overall malware detections.

Goh Chee Hoh, the managing director of Trend Micro Malaysia, cautioned that the country should not become complacent despite these decreases.

“Organisations should exercise greater caution as this decline could pave the way for more sophisticated attacks.

“As adversaries level up their tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) in their attacks, especially in defence evasion, this could indicate that threat actors are choosing their targets more carefully.

“As our report demonstrates, network defenders must continue to proactively manage risk across the entire attack surface today,” he said in a press statement.

Goh stressed the importance of understanding the strategies used by cybercriminals as a fundamental part of a good cyber defence.

Similar to Malaysia, other countries in the region, such as Indonesia, Singapore, and the Philippines, also experienced a reduction in ransomware detection, aligning with the global downtrend.

However, South-East Asia saw an overall increase in ransomware detection, accounting for over half (52%) of those globally, mainly due to a significant increase in Thailand.

Trend Micro's report cautions that cybercriminals are becoming more selective with their targets and increasingly proficient at circumventing "early detection layers".

For example, rather than initiating widespread attacks dependent on users clicking on malicious links, attackers are now focusing on a smaller group of high-value targets.

This strategic shift enables them to slip past network and email defences, a likely reason for the rise in file detections at endpoints.

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