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ISLAMABAD: The number of overall cyber threats in Pakistan increased by 17 percent in 2023 as compared to 2022.

The experts of Kaspersky told media on Monday, when looking at the threat landscape in Pakistan, Kaspersky’s telemetry showed the number of overall cyber threats in the country increased by 17% in 2023. Kaspersky blocked 16 million cyber attacks in Pakistan in 2023.

As per the latest research by Kaspersky, a global cyber security and digital privacy company, 24.4% of users in Pakistan affected by online threats in Pakistan. Dissecting the threat landscape in Pakistan further, Kaspersky experts saw attacks using banking malware rose by 59 percent, such attacks designed to collect online banking credentials and other sensitive information from infected machines.

Researchers of the company also reported an increase of 35% in Trojan attacks that disguise themselves as legitimate computer programs but are used to run malicious code by cybercriminals. In addition, ransomware attacks designed to encrypt a victim’s data, files, or system, making them accessible in exchange for a payment, increased by 24% in Pakistan.

Moreover, the researchers reported attacks using spyware rose by 36%, such attacks are malicious software that enters a user’s computer, gathers data from the device and user, and sends it to third parties without their consent.

“Being an emerging country and accepting digital transformation at good pace, Pakistan has very important role to play in Asia. As the cyber security landscape evolves, cyber threats continue to become diverse and sophisticated. This trend is particularly evident due to the emergence of advanced technologies like AI and the escalating geopolitical and economic turbulence within the META region. These factors collectively contribute to the surge in cybercrime and the heightened complexity of cyber attacks,” explained Amin Hasbini, Director of META Research Center Global Research and Analysis Team (GReAT).

According to Kaspersky’s analysis of the cyber security threat landscape in the META region has fluctuated significantly.

Kaspersky experts also discussed the evolution of the cyber threat landscape in the region during its 9th annual Cyber Security Weekend – META 2024. The focal point of the discussions was the security of emerging technology trends such as AI that are influencing the scale of modern threats.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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