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Over 1.5M are cybercrime victims daily worldwide–study

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Jason Mok, Norton By Symantec Consumer Sales Manager, presents the 2012 Norton Cybercrime Report which finds that cybercrimes being committed on mobile devices and social networks are on the rise. MATIKAS SANTOS

MANILA, Philippines — Cybercrime committed in mobile devices and social networks are fast rising and a vast majority of people may already have been a victim without their knowledge, according to an annual study of Norton by Symantec, an international computer security company.

Norton released in the Philippines the findings of their 2012 Norton Cybercrime Report (NCR) Thursday that found that 18 people fall victim to cybercrime every second “resulting in more than 1.5 million cybercrime victims each day on a global level.”

“In the past twelve months, an estimated 556 million adults across the world experienced cybercrime, more than the entire population of the European Union,” the study said.

The report also found that netizens are not aware they may already have become a victim of cybercrime because of the way malware, such as viruses, behave on a computer or mobile device through the years.

Cybercriminals are changing their tactics to target fast growing mobile platforms and social networks…

- Study

“Forty percent of adults do not know that malware can operate in a discreet fashion, making it hard to know if a computer has been compromised, and more than half or 55 percent are not certain that their computer is currently clean and free of viruses,” the study said.

“Malware and viruses used to wreak obvious havoc on your computer,” Marian Merritt, Norton Internet Safety Advocate in a statement from Norton. “You’d get a blue screen, or your computer would crash, alerting you to an infection.”

Cybercriminals have changed their methods and are now instead using discreet ways to get important information from people to try to scam money from other victims, he said.

“This year’s results show that nearly half of Internet users believe that unless their computer crashes or malfunctions, they’re not 100 percent sure they’ve fallen victim to such an attack,” the study said.

New Cybercrime Forms

The 2012 NCR, which was previously released in the United States (US), also found that new forms of cybercrime, such as those committed through mobile devices and social networks, are on the rise.

The facts

“Cybercriminals are changing their tactics to target fast growing mobile platforms and social networks where consumers are less aware of security risks,” the study said.

“One in five online adults or 21 percent has been a victim of either social or mobile cybercrime, and 39 percent of social network users have been victims of social cybercrime,” the study said.

Social networks are becoming a prime target of cybercrime such as identity theft, hacking, and scams, Jason Mok, Norton By Symantec Consumer Sales Manager of Bangladesh, Indonesia, Philippines and Thailand, said in a presentation.

“Fifteen percent of social network users reported someone had hacked into their profile and pretended to be them. One in 10 social network users said they’d fallen victim to a scam or fake link on social network platforms,” the study said.

Despite the widespread perception of many netizens about cybercrime, not all take steps to secure their information online, it added.

“While 75 percent believe that cybercriminals are setting their sights on social networks, less than half or 44 percent actually use a security solution which protects them from social network threats and only 49 percent use the privacy settings to control what information they share, and with whom,” the study said.

People’s mobile devices were also being used to lure unsuspecting victims to get their money, Mok said.

“Nearly one-third or 31 percent of mobile users received a text message from someone they didn’t know requesting that they click on an embedded link or dial an unknown number to retrieve a “voicemail”, the study said.

Among the activities that can be classified as cybercrime are computer viruses and malicious software infecting computers, fake and spam emails, online harassment and cyberbullying, identity theft and hacking of personal accounts, credit card theft, among others.

Cybercrimes being conducted on social networks were bullying, fake links and scams, messages or sites that try to get personal information also known as phishing, etc.

Mobile cybercrimes include unsolicited text messages, spamming of messages to others without the knowledge of the user, etc., the study said.

Direct costs of cybercrime worldwide are at $110 billion over the past 12 months, the study said.

The most number of cybercrime victims are in Russia with 92 percent, while 84 percent are in China and 80 percent in South Africa, the study said.

The study however found that people were conscious of online threats. It said that 89 percent of people delete suspicious emails from people they don’t know, 83 percent have a basic antivirus solution, and 78 percent do not open attachments or click links from unsolicited emails.

The study surveyed 13,000 adults aged 18 to 64 across 24 countries (Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Sweden, Turkey, UAE, UK, USA).


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Tags: Cybercrime , infotech , Internet , IT , Mobile , Social Media , technology

  • boybakal

    It might be good too…to protect a person from cyber bully.
    Like GMA, she is the most bullied person in the Philippines especially here in PDI.
    We might look after those bullies.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_I4MZTFGCRWI6D5ER5MNPWLUQ2Q samuel

    Weeh really! or Norton do this to boast sales of their product cybercrime can be prevented if you know how secure your data or critical personal information.Secure internet Awareness is needed, be careful when you click or entering any sites. Prevention is always better than cure.  Of course Norton will promote cybercrime law cause they are a software maker for internet security and against piracy in favor of their business. Norton do Protect your business just like a traditional business do, wag mong iasa sa Gobyerno Kumikita naman kayo ng Milyones.

  • Nic Legaspi

    The purpose of this report is to highlight Norton’s commitment to preventing intrusions and malicious software from extracting information or getting into your device. It’s a PR stunt. Yes, this is still a bit related to our anti-cybercrime law, but is in no way related to the provisions that the Filipino people want removed from the law — particularly the cyber-libel provision.

  • http://pinoy-politics.blogspot.com Monsi Serrano

    This is a simple case of mind conditioning and forum shopping on the part of the government. But the thing is, they get “third party” validation to make it look credible. The government wanna use this as an excuse to implement the libel in the Cybercrime Law.

    Sadly, not everyone in the Cyberspace will take this issue with a grain of salt. The netizens are not idiots as they think. 

    I would like to share my piece here with your indulgence:

    Let’s Change the Guards By MONSI A. SERRANO It was a raging war in cyberspace between the government and the 30 million Filipino netizens in our country (other Filipino users abroad are not included in the head count), clashing over the insertion of libel in the Cybercrime Law.

    There are interesting issues that we need to realize prior to the discovery of the insertion done by “The Honorable Fool”, Senator Vicente “Tito” Sotto. First, he was vacillating on the issue that he inserted the libel provision and then, later on, he denied it and defended it.

    There were some senators who started to succumb to pressure from many Voter’s ID-bearing netizens. Take for example, Senator Chiz Escudero who went on record to admit “a mistake” and promised to amend the law. Whether or not his claim is true that he “did not see the insertion” is his word – one that is also his bond with the electorate. Some wisecrack joked that Senator Chiz overlooked the provision because apart from the affairs of the Senate, he was supposedly busy with the affairs of the Heart.

    Senator Kiko Pangilinan, although not really put in the equation, spoke up to declare that he did not vote for the Cybercrime Law. Strangely enough, that statement from Pangilinan came after his wife Sharon Cuneta said that day that she did not see anything wrong with the Cybercrime Law. 

    Then, there goes the Cayetano siblings who bore different “excuses.” Senator Pia said, “no one objected,” thus, the law had been passed. Had she been made aware of the inclusion, she would have opposed the libel clauses, so she claims. As for Senator Allan Peter, he admitted that the insertion went unnoticed, thus, his next step is to amend the law.

    As of this writing, Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago wanted the Supreme Court to scrap the entire Cybercrime Law. But among the senators, only Senator TG Guingona rode chivalrously, fighting tooth and nail against the oppressive bill. He went an extra mile by going to the Supreme Court to ask that several provisions of Republic Act 10175 be declared as unconstitutional. He was a voice crying in the wilderness or, perhaps, a Don Quixote of the digital age.

    Looking at this self-made quagmire created by the 13 Senators, perhaps, it is high time that the voters think who does not belong to the roll of “honorables”? Who we do not need in the Senate and how we’ll keep them out in the elections in 2013? I don’t know if the number 13 –representing the 13 senators who supported the Cybercrime Law – is just a coincidence or a prophecy waiting to be heard by the electorate.

    Biblically, 13 has always been associated with Judas. If like me, you can make somewhat of the same association between Judas and these 13 senators, do not elect them anymore. They’ve got more than 30 silver pieces in their pockets, because each senator gets 200 million pesos per year, considering the fact that they do not have direct constituents who will benefit from it. 

    Now that the Supreme Court has issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) against the Cybercrime Law, somehow, this is a partial victory for us – the 30 million Internet users and the greater number of freedom lovers out there. I said partial victory because R.A. 10175 has not been junked yet. And if there will be amendments, I still fear that there may be another insertion from them in order to push their own agenda. 

    The fight is not over yet, until the Cybercrime Law is junked, or at least, the libel provision is removed. In the meantime, let us remain vigilant in the insidious plan of our senators. Yes, they may have truly missed reading the insertion – in good faith (did I just insult my intelligence by saying that?). But how can we allow these 13 senators to overlook such an important provision in the law they have voted to pass? Are they really that stupid or do they think we are? Given the kind of mix we have in the August Chamber ranging from comedian, to action star, to stuntman, to lawyers, to cop and some clowns; and the kind of performance they ought to perform to protect the interest of the people and not their own interest, I think it is about time and not immoral to apply the “Lex Taliones” or the law of retaliation. We can do this by changing of the guards and by not voting for the senators who do not listen to the people whose rights and interests they have promised to uphold and protect. 

    As the late former President Corazon C. Aquino said, “Freedom of expression in particular, freedom of the press – guarantees popular participation in the decisions and actions of government, and popular participation is the essence of our democracy.” 

    Post Script:Official

    Statement from the Officers and Members of PERK UP! The Philippine Business and News Forum. While we condemn the insertion of libel in Cybercrime Law, it is in the same fervent that we also condemn the defacing and hacking of the government websites, because we believe it is uncalled for. When the government websites are defaced and hacked, it is the people’s money that is wasted here.

    • Wearth

      note lang bakit madaling mahack ang mga goverment site natin, ang problema dito is naka host lang sa pipitsugin na hosting plan (kasi may kurakot ang officer na nassign dito sa maghahandle ng mga website nila). Mas maigi kung magtayo sila ng dedicated server ng para sa goverment at implement ung mga security stuff para di mahack. Ang lalaki ng budget nila sa paggawa ng website nila kaso ung binabayad parang 70% napupunta sa bulsa ng mga kawatan at 30% sa production ng site, ang cause nito pangit na service, pangit na hosting at sa higit lahat madaling mahack kasi free script kadalasan ginagamit. :(

      kaya sana Pres. Aquino, maglaan ka ng pondo na malaki dito para mabawasan ung hacking incident sa mga website ng goverment

      • http://pinoy-politics.blogspot.com Monsi Serrano

        Hi Wearth, I agree with you on the hosting. Yung talaga ang dapat. Apart from that, they really need expert people to manage their sites. Sayang eh ginagastusan natin tapos ganun lang… Maganda sana yung broadband deal sa ZTE kaso kinurakot na kagad ni Gloria et al

  • Wearth

    bakit sasama nila ung libel sa cybercrime law? tsaka if your using your computer or mobile devices in the internet use antivirus and get latest news about this virus and malware on some infotech sites. Also be aware sa pag click link or download ng software. mostly karamihan naman ng malware or virus di gawa ng pinoy so the best gumamit ka ng antivirus (kaya nga nandyan yan eh para protektado ka).

  • clanwolf

    Inquirer’s angle promote the Palace view that the cybercrime law is good for us. Again Inquirer demonstrates that it is no longer neutral and clearly just another a yellow media outlet.



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