CyberSecurity Malaysia recorded 221 cyber harassment cases this year and 529 cases last year.

CYBER harassment, or cyberbullying, is now considered one of the top five cyber threats in Malaysia.

It is considered the third most dangerous threat after fraud and intrusion.

This year, as at April 30, there were 221 cyber harassment cases recorded by CyberSecurity Malaysia. Last year, 529 cases were recorded. 

CyberSecurity Malaysia chief executive officer Datuk Dr Amirudin Abdul Wahab said this increase was worrying.

He cited a recent case where a 20-year-old college student committed suicide in Penang due to cyber bullying.

“We hear of these incidents all the time in the United States, but I believe this was the first for Malaysia.

“For someone to take his own life, we can only imagine how bad cyber harassment could be,” he said at a media briefing on cybersecurity in Malaysia yesterday.

Cyber harassment and other cyberthreats can be reported to the Cyber999 Help Centre, where Internet users could lodge reports online, or through email, short message service, phone call, fax and mobile applications.

Other cyber incidents include malicious code, spam, content-related incidents, intrusion attempts, denial of service attacks and vulnerabilities.

Also present at the media briefing was Symantec Malaysia Systems Engineering director David Rajoo, who revealed that last year, emails had become cyber criminals’ weapon of choice.

“Symantec found one in 131 emails contained a malicious link or attachment, which is the highest rate in five years.

“Compared with 2015, where one out of 437 emails were malicious, the latest number was almost a four-fold increase,” he said.

David also said a growing reliance on cloud services had left organisations open to attacks. 

Tens of thousands of cloud databases from a single provider were hijacked and held ransom last year. This crime is called “ransomware”.

Malaysia is the 17th most targeted country for ransomware, with the US at number one, where criminals
demanded an average of US$1,077 (RM4,670) per
victim.

Symantec advised Internet users to use strong and unique passwords for computers, Internet of Things devices and wireless networks. They should also keep their operating system and software up to date, which could patch up newly discovered security vulnerabilities, it added.

“Delete any suspicious-looking email, especially if it contains links or attachments. Be extremely wary of any Microsoft Office email attachment that advises you to enable macros to view its content,” David said.

“Lastly, users must back up their files as backing up data is the most effective way of combating a ransomware infection.”

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