1 in 3 Pinoys hit by cyberthreats hidden in ‘thumb drives’

1 in 3 Filipinos hit by cyberthreats hidden in ‘thumb drives’

PHOTO: Stock image man with right hand on computer keyboard while left holds a cellphone. STORY: 1 in 3 Filipinos hit by cyberthreats hidden in ‘thumb drives’

INQUIRER.net stocks images

MANILA, Philippines — One in three Filipinos dealt with cyberattacks launched via thumb drives and other removable devices in the past year, global cybersecurity firm Kaspersky reported on Monday as it stressed that digital threats also thrive in offline space.

In a statement, the company reminded Filipinos to be careful when plugging their flash drives into computers to avoid falling victim to local threats.


The local threat is malicious software spread via removable devices like flash drives, CDs (compact discs), and DVDs (digital versatile discs). Kaspersky explained that bad actors attempt to infiltrate such devices to obtain sensitive information.


According to Kaspersky Security Network’s recent report, 36.8 percent of users in the Philippines were attacked by digital threats last year.

This made the country the third most vulnerable to such cyberattacks in Southeast Asia and 76th worldwide.

In the region, Vietnam and Indonesia led the list with 53.3 percent and 41.1 percent, respectively. Turkmenistan (67.4 percent) and Afghanistan (64.6 percent) received the most local threat attacks globally last year.

“Over time, [thumb drives have] become smaller in size, yet [their] capacity [have] tremendously increased that we can now store large files like videos and multiple copies of them on a single drive,” said Yeo Siang Tiong, general manager for Southeast Asia at Kaspersky.

“But [flash drives] are a boon to everyone who uses them, cybercriminals included, and a bane for those unaware that such offline hardware could cause a catastrophe,” he added.

As such, Kaspersky stressed the need to have antivirus software preventing any malicious software from an infected flash drive going into a computer system.


READ: PH second most vulnerable in region to cyberthreats

It also advised the public to use different flash drives for business and personal use.

“We need to understand that cyberattacks don’t come solely from the internet,” Yeo said.

While the threat of flash drive-driven cyber incidents looms, a recent survey commissioned by cybersecurity firm Fortinet and conducted by International Data Corp. revealed that phishing is among the top cyber threats in the country, with over 50 percent of the respondents citing it. The study surveyed 550 information technology leaders across the Asia-Pacific region.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

Phishing is a fraudulent activity in which hackers trick users into providing their personal information, allowing them to take over one’s bank or e-wallet account.

TAGS: cyber attacks, cyberthreats, Kaspersky Security Network

© Copyright 1997-2024 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.