,Singapore

Phishing scams nearly tripled to 47,500 URLs in 2019

Tech firms and banks were amongst the most commonly spoofed firms.

Phishing URLs hosted in Singapore and targeted at local industries such as e-commerce, banking and finance nearly tripled to 47,500 in 2019, compared to just 16,100 URLs in 2018, according to data from the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA).

Globally, 2019 saw the highest level of phishing attacks since 2016. Commonly spoofed local firms included tech firms, banking and financial organisations and email service providers, whilst the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA), Ministry of Manpower (MOM) and Singapore Police Force (SPF) were the most commonly spoofed government organisations.

In line with global trends, SPF reported that cybercrime has continued to rise, with 9,430 cases reported in 2019, up from 6,215 cases in 2018. This accounted for more than one-quarter of all crimes in Singapore in 2019.

E-commerce scams continued to be the top scam type, recording a 30% surge from 2,161 cases in 2018, to 2,809 in 2019. “In particular, victims continued to be enticed by attractive online deals on items such as electronic gadgets and event tickets,” the report stated.

At the same time, 873 websites were defaced in 2019, compared to 605 cases in 2018. The rise was partly attributed to an Indonesia-based hacker group, as well as ongoing developments in the Middle East. The majority of the defaced websites belonged to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) from sectors such as education, finance, manufacturing and retail.

At the same time, close to 370 malware variants were detected, with the top five malware—Mirai, Gamarue, Conficker, Nymaim, and Ranbyus—accounting for over half of all observed infections.

CSA detected about 530 unique command and control servers controlled by an attacker, compared to 300 observed in 2018. A daily average of about 2,300 botnet drones with Singapore Internet Protocol (IP) addresses were also observed.

The year also saw 35 reports of ransomware cases, compared to 21 cases in 2018. Organisations that fell victim to ransomware attacks mostly belonged to the travel and tourism, manufacturing and logistics industries.

Aside from security risks associated with working from home, the transition by organisations into cloud computing is expected to drive cybersecurity attacks. Other trends expected to have an impact on cybersecurity include AI, 5G, the surge in IoT devices and quantum computing. 

Join Singapore Business Review community
Since you're here...

...there are many ways you can work with us to advertise your company and connect to your customers. Our team can help you dight and create an advertising campaign, in print and digital, on this website and in print magazine.

We can also organize a real life or digital event for you and find thought leader speakers as well as industry leaders, who could be your potential partners, to join the event. We also run some awards programmes which give you an opportunity to be recognized for your achievements during the year and you can join this as a participant or a sponsor.

Let us help you drive your business forward with a good partnership!

Thanks to the renewal of interest in the Singapore market.
The electronics cluster showed the most optimism.
The initiative aims to improve the overseas service exports environment.
This is the group’s 2nd sustainability notes issuance in the SGD bond market.
A Jefferies report said Singapore banks have enough buffers.
HongkongLand, CapitaLandInvest, and ComfortDelGro showed the most growth.
Mizuho Securities Asia Limited will be the notes dealer.
The company’s first batch has been fully allocated in the country.
The total consideration of up to $539m over three years will take effect. 
This is to address the increased global demand for healthcare products.
Thanks to the company's improved distribution channels.
Hiring activities online increased by 55.7% in August.
CapitaLandInvest, Capland IntCom T, and Sembcorp Industries showed the most growth.
This low turnout is due to the large quantum of the project, experts say.