MANILA, Philippines, December 2, 2014—Trend Micro, a leader in security solutions, recently determined that for Philippine businesses and consumers, system infections are still caused by poor browsing habits.
Several infections in the country involve RAMNIT, a malware family known for its capacity to steal information including online banking credentials. According to researchers at TrendLabs, the Trend Micro headquarters for operations located in Manila, RAMNIT is one of the reasons why online banking malware detections in the Philippines have recently spiked compared to last quarter.
In the third quarter of 2014, the Philippines ranked 1st in ransomware detections in Southeast Asia (the 7th globally). Ransomware is a type of malware that prevents or limits users from accessing their computers. To make infected systems usable again, victims are forced to pay ransom to a remote threat actor via certain online payment methods. This malware is encountered when malicious sites are visited.
For Philippine enterprises, security threats still lie in using outdated operating systems and software. According to Myla Pilao, Marketing Director at TrendLabs, “This shows that some Philippine enterprises may have patch management issues. Updating software in a timely manner remains a challenging process. However, enterprises have to stay protected against these threats. Given how easily malware can affect critical business operations, it’s best for these organizations to invest in technologies that will help them secure their endpoints and systems.”
Below are the key third quarter findings:
Infections are still caused by traditional means This past quarter, the top detections in the Philippines are RAMNIT and other file infectors like GAMARUE and SALITY. Malware in the country is still passed on through infected USBs. As a solution, Philippine businesses should invest in securing their endpoints and systems.
Piracy raises security risks The presence of several cracking applications in the Philippines’s top 10 is still status quo. In fact, the top 1 malware detection in the country is a cracking application. This could be indicative of software piracy issues in the country.
DOWNAD decreased dramatically On the other hand, improvement has been seen in the Philippines with the disappearance of DOWNAD from the list. For the past several quarters, DOWNAD has been consistently detected in the country, showing that some Philippine enterprises practice poor patch management. The disappearance shows that Philippine companies have successfully migrated away from systems running on unpatched software like Windows XP.
Filipinos are endangered by careless browsing habits Lastly, Trend Micro reports that there have been a number of incidents where malicious files are being stored in browser caches. This means Filipinos are still prone to browse malicious pages. There has actually been a 38.77% spike in the number of malicious URLs clicked in the Philippines. Users should be extra mindful of their browsing habits.