According to data from Kaspersky, the number of ransomware attacks targeting small and medium-sized enterprises in Southeast Asia has dropped sharply this year.
The data shows that the number of ransomware attacks discovered and blocked in Southeast Asia dropped from 1.4 million from January to June 2019 to about 500,000 in the first half of 2020, a drop of more than 64%. Singapore (89.79%) experienced the largest drop in testing volume, followed by Malaysia (87.65%) and Indonesia (68.17%). In addition, the number of attacks in the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam has also fallen sharply.
Nevertheless, in the second quarter of 2020, Indonesia and Vietnam’s ransomware attacks are still ranked fourth and eighth globally, while China, Brazil, and Russia rank top in Kaspersky’s global ranking of ransomware attacks.
Kaspersky Senior Malware Analyst Fedor Sinitsyn pointed out that the decline in attack rates across the region reflects the decline in WannaCry ransomware activity, which exploited security flaws in outdated Microsoft Windows systems.
Due to the turbulent political situation and widespread security vulnerabilities in many countries, Africa and the Middle East are the regions most affected by ransomware.
Ransomware groups also continue to target medical, government, and educational institutions, which often have serious security breaches.
“Our industry has been unfaltering in our advanced research and resolute reporting of sophisticated attacks and we see its important contribution in the weakening of some ransomware campaigns. But we can never be complacent. Prolific attacks may always fly under our radar and we need to continue to watch out for them,” says Yeo Siang Tiong, General Manager for Southeast Asia at Kaspersky.
“The spray and pray tactic of ransomware creators may be over but we are also observing the rise of the more dangerous targeted ransomware. It is good news that ransomware detections against SMBs in the region have become lesser in quantity, but the recent headline-grabbing incidents involving Maze ransomware and the recent WastedLocker attack which allegedly earned $10 million in one infection should be a clear reminder for all companies, however small, that we need to beef up our cybersecurity now more than ever against this costly threat,” Yeo adds.