7 in 10 phishing attempts in PH finance-related — Kaspersky

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 22) — The pandemic-driven growth in digital payments has resulted in more phishing attacks in the Philippines targeting financial services—the highest detection in Southeast Asia, a global cybersecurity firm reported Wednesday.

Based on its data covering February to April of 2022, Kaspersky showed that seven in 10 (68.95%) phishing attempts in the country were finance-related transactions.

The figure is higher compared to Indonesia (65.90%), Singapore (55.67%), Thailand (55.63%), Malaysia (50.58%), and Vietnam (36.12%).

Kaspersky said cybercriminals tried to lure their victims through banking, e-commerce stores, and payment systems.

Criminals usually use phishing, where they send out emails with a malicious link pretending to come from a legitimate organization to get customers' personal information.

"Alongside the increased adoption in digital transactions here in Southeast Asia, we also see the rise of ‘Super Apps’ in the region. These are the mobile applications that combine all popular monetary functions including e-banking, mobile wallets, online shopping, insurance, travel bookings, and even investments," Yeo Siang Tiong, general manager for Southeast Asia at Kaspersky, was quoted as saying in a statement.

"Putting our data and digital money in one basket can trigger an aftermath snowball, with the impact of a phishing attack swelling at an unforeseeable rate," Yeo added.

The Kaspersky official urged players in the financial technology market to beef up their cybersecurity as the group expects the uptrend in phishing attacks to continue.