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In 2015, almost 20 percent of the victims of cyber crime in Thailand reported losses totalling more than $100,000, while 4 percent of victims reported losses between $1 million and $100 million.
Paul Davis, regional chief financial officer Asia for AGCS, told the Bangkok Post: “The local cyber crime rate has risen sharply over the past two years, resulting in a jump from fourth to second place [globally].”
Mr Davis also revealed that 39 percent of companies listed on the Thailand stock exchange were victims of fraud last year, due to either external hacking or internal fraud by employees.
In a country where use use of counterfeit computer software is widespread and little emphasis seems to be placed on the importance of online security, It is perhaps not all that surprising that Thailand remains such a target for cyber criminals.
And it is not only Thailand’s private sector which is a target for cybercrime.
Over the past year there have been several high profile cyber attacks on Thailand’s police and Supreme Court.
In January 2016, cyber activities Anonymous attacked 15 police websites, including that of Bangkok’s Metropolitan Police, which resulted in the websites being taken offline and replaced with calls to boycott Thailand in the wake of the Koh Tao murder trial.
The group also reportedly hacked the website of the Supreme Court exposing more than 1GB of confidential data.
In another more recent case, the private details of more than 2,000 senior citizens was found exposed and publicly available on the website Thailand’s welfare office. This cyber attack was believed to have been carried out by online activists eager to expose the vulnerability of official government websites.
However, perhaps the biggest incident to highlight the mishandling of confidential data by government departments was an apparent leak of the private details of more than 2,000 expats and foreigners living in southern Thailand.
Among the data publicly available included names, nationalities and passport numbers.
Users on social media also quickly discovered that the password to access the admin panel of the site which contained the data was “123456”.
Meanwhile, http://cleanweb-thailand.com/ a website setup by Thailand’s Technology Crime Suppression Division to help share information about online scams also looks like it may have been hacked.
All this comes at a time when the global threat from cyber crime, particularly ransomware, is at an all time high.
Earlier this week, the BBC reported that cyber criminals carrying out ransomware attacks is rising at an “alarming” rate, while researchers have seen a 3,500 percent increase in the criminal use of software that is used to carry out such attacks.