29 April 2022 | Asia Cyber Summary

Updated: Apr 29

In the Spotlight this Week:

  • Singapore can't be ruled out as target of new infrastructure malware amid Ukraine war

  • Retail and wholesale in Asia at significant risk of phishing attacks

  • UN panel coordinator urges stepped up focus on North Korea cyber crime

  • Indonesia faces 11 million cyber attacks in 2022 first quarter

  • NIST revamps aging enterprise patch management guidance

Singapore Can't Be Ruled Out As Target Of New Infrastructure Malware Amid Ukraine War

Newly discovered malware tools are likely to be used by Russian threat actors to target organizations in countries that have taken a stance against the war.

These malware strains–namely Pipedream or Incontroller–could allow hackers to seize control of systems that run critical infrastructure such as power stations and manufacturing plants.

Government officials are closely monitoring the situation, as Singapore remains a potential target for such attacks.

At Blackpanda, our military origins make us hyper aware of how cyber security threats go hand in hand with physical security ones, and how often cyber threat actors take advantage of these terrible war situations to cause havoc in organizations of all sizes as well as critical service providers for political and economic gain.

Read more about our military approach to cyber security here: https://lnkd.in/gy_SEF8R

Retail And Wholesale In Asia At Significant Risk Of Phishing Attacks

New research has found that many retail and wholesale environments are at significant risk, with a 400% increase in phishing attacks being reported in the last 12 months.

Phishing-as-a-Service was the key source of attacks across critical industries and consumers globally, with emerging phishing methods like SMS phishing found to be increasing faster than other methods as end-users become wearier of suspicious emails.

Data from more than 200 billion daily transactions and 150 million daily blocked attacks shows that phishing attacks rose 29% globally, with retail and wholesale taking up the largest percentage of attempted attacks.

Cyber criminals were also found to be exploiting current events and online methods, such as the COVID-19 pandemic or cryptocurrency, to implement phishing attacks and steal valuable user information.

Phishing has been seemingly determined as an easy access method for criminals as it is a low barrier for entry. Attackers were easily luring victims by posing as top brands or promoting topical events, making a significant impact on a variety of customer-centric industries.

Indonesia Faces 11 Million Cyber Attacks In 2022 First Quarter

Indonesia faced more than 11 million cyber attacks in the first quarter of 2022, according to Kaspersky.

"The trend must be responded to by all involved parties with vigilance since cyber criminals always await the following trend to be exploited,” Kaspersky’s general manager for Southeast Asia, Yeo Siang Tiong, said in a press statement released on Tuesday.

The rampant cyber threats were triggered by many people using cyber space for obtaining non-fungible tokens (NFT), participating in the metaverse, and conducting crypto asset transactions, as well as investment adoption among youths.

During the January–March 2022 period, Kaspersky detected and blocked a total of 11,802,558 different cyber threats. The figure represented a 22-percent rise compared to the same period last year, when it was recorded at 9,639,740.

NIST Revamps Aging Enterprise Patch Management Guidance

The US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has overhauled its enterprise patch management guidance for the first time in nearly a decade.

Whereas the previous, 2013 iteration focused on helping organizations to deploy patch management technologies, the new edition centers on developing strategies for patch management.

Put together by NIST’s National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence (NCCoE), NIST Special Publication (SP) 800-40 Revision 4 “is based on the assumption that […] organizations would benefit more from rethinking their patch management planning than their patch management technology”.

Nevertheless, NIST has also issued a companion publication demonstrating how commercial tools can support enterprises in implementing its revised guidance.

UN Panel Coordinator Urges Stepped Up Focus On North Korea Cyber Crime

The coordinator for the United Nations body monitoring enforcement of sanctions on North Korea said on Wednesday the 20th of April 20 a stepped up focus was needed on cyber crime, which had become fundamental to Pyongyang's ability to finance its banned weapons programmes.

Mr Eric Penton-Voak, of the UN Security Council's Panel of Experts on North Korea, noted that despite the widest sanctions regime ever imposed by the UN on a nation state, North Korea had markedly accelerated its missile testing, particularly over the past six months.

"It may be no coincidence that the words cyber and cryptocurrency do not actually appear in the UN sanctions resolutions," he told a discussion hosted by Washington's Centre for a New American Security think tank.

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