A recently released report by an Internet security firm has revealed that the Philippines is the top country globally for botnets and banking Trojan malware.
In the inaugural “Asia Pacific State of Malware Report 2017” conducted by Silicon Valley-based Malwarebytes, the study noted that the Philippines is a haven for botnets with detections for the malware nearly four times as many as the second ranked country, Indonesia.
A botnet is a type of malware that infects a number of interconnected devices to perform multiple tasks such as denial-of-service attacks (DDOS), spreading spam, and stealing personal and financial information. It is under the control of a botnet operator that runs or controls the server.
The Philippines led Asia Pacific countries among the top five countries for botnet detections globally. The countries — the Philippines, Indonesia, India, Thailand, and Malaysia — accounted for nearly half of botnet detections overall.
Asia Pacific topped the chart of botnet detections globally, accounting for more than 50% of botnet detections. Emerging markets in the region are responsible for the majority of botnet detections, with developed countries accounting for less than 0.5% of global botnet detections.
For banking Trojan malware, the Philippines was again at the top of the heap with nearly twice as many detections as the second ranked country, Thailand.
A banking Trojan is a malicious program in the form of Trojan horse which is used to steal confidential information in online banking systems.
The Philippines and Thailand accounted for a disproportionately large amount of banking Trojan malware detections. The two countries combined accounted for more than 20% of global banking Trojan detections.
Overall, the study showed that ransomware, ad fraud, and botnets have risen to prominence in the current threat landscape. Particularly in Asia Pacific, botnets reigned supreme with the region accounting for more than 50% of botnet incidences globally.
Furthermore, Android malware was also present in significant numbers in the region, with the top three countries accounting for 15% of detections globally. Banking Trojans were also rampant – the region comprised more than a quarter (27%) of detections across the globe.
The study examined data from more than one billion malware detections/incidences, covered more than 100 million devices over 200 countries, in both corporate and consumer environments. Data was also obtained from Malwarebytes’ internal honeypots and collection efforts to identify malware distribution, not just infections.
“In Asia Pacific, we are seeing that botnets are particularly rampant. A particularly sneaky malware – botnets can remain undetected for long periods of time and expose users to other malware threats and infections. As individuals and businesses become more reliant on computing in their professional and daily life, it is imperative they remain aware of new cyber attack methodologies and how they can impact them,” said Jeff Hurmuses, area vice president and managing director for Asia Pacific at Malwarebytes.