PH ranks third in e-commerce phishing attacks in SEA — Kaspersky

Kaspersky detected that phishing in e-commerce and banking sectors in the Philippines doubled in the second quarter of 2022 (Q2), compared to the first three months of the year.

The cybersecurity company recorded nearly 78,000 phishing incidents in Q2 among its e-shop customers posting a 409% surge from only 15,000 in the first quarter (Q1). The rise in the percentage of phishing detections in e-commerce industry puts the Philippines in third place among its Southeast Asian neighbors next to Malaysia (572.48%) and Indonesia (443.33%).

Established data showed the pandemic boosted online shopping in the Philippines. Currently, the top local e-commerce platforms are enjoying brisk sales of beauty, electronics, fashion, furniture, health, and household care products.

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Phishing attacks this year exceed 2021’s numbers in SEA — Kaspersky

“The first half of the year witnessed the reopening of borders in Southeast Asia but the pandemic habits seem to remain consistent. Despite our regained physical freedom, we know that we still prefer to do our banking, shopping, and financial activities online because of its unparalleled convenience,” said Yeo Siang Tiong, general manager for Southeast Asia at Kaspersky.

These data are from anonymized data based on the triggering of the deterministic component in the Kaspersky’s Anti-Phishing system on user computers. The component detects all pages with phishing content that the user has tried to open by following a link in an e-mail message or on the web, as long as links to these pages are present in the Kaspersky database.

Phishing incidents

Among its local bank customers, Kaspersky shared that more than 8,000 phishing incidents were recorded in Q2 up from 4,746 detections in Q1, or a 78% increase within the first half of the year. The rise in global detections for the same period is only at 28%.

From the same report, phishing attacks against Philippine-based payment systems went down at -19%. There were 132,125 detected phishing attempts in Q1 among Kaspersky users in the payment system sector. Three months later, it trickled down to 105,986 incidents.

The decline in local numbers is relatively similar to the global trend for the same duration at -31.58%. In the payment system sector, all countries in the SEA region showed a decrease in phishing attacks in varying degrees with the Philippines in the third spot trailing behind Thailand (-32.54%) and Malaysia (-20.66%).

“Regulators and industry players in the region are all backing a digital-forward Southeast Asia,” Yeo said. “In fact, countries here are poised to link their QR code payment systems before the year ends to remove currency exchange hassles. It is a welcome development with possible great economic gains, for us and the cybercriminals. With most users here aware of the threats targeting our online money, it is time to act now and secure your mobile devices to enjoy the perks of a more connected, regional financial environment,” adds Yeo.

Here are tips from Kaspersky on how to stay safe online from phishing attempts:

  • Always keep a keen eye on suspicious emails. If it looks too good to be true, check, double-check, and triple-check.
  • Maintain two email addresses if you are using free accounts. One is for official use and the other is for websites that require you to log in to read the news or gather information.
  • Not all smartphones are secure so be careful of messages that will lead you to a website. There are a number of malicious software that can gain entry into your contacts list and financial apps.
  • Use a reliable security solution with anti-phishing and secure payment capabilities like Kaspersky Total Security.
  • Still, the best defense to phishing is being informed and discerning of the emails and other messages users receive. There is no harm in being too cautious, especially since most of the financial transactions are now done online in pursuit of digitalization.