Report: Qatar vulnerable to more cyber attacks in 2013

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As companies brace for an increase in cybercrime this year, Qatar remains an especially vulnerable target, cybersecurity firm Symantec has said in a new report. 

That’s in part because Qatar’s growing international profile brings a greater awareness of the country’s wealth, making it a more attractive mark, said Malike Bouaoud, a member of ictQATAR’s Qatar Cyber Emergency Response Team, (Q-CERT) and Section Manager for ICT Risk Management.

Bouaoud made those remarks about the growing cybercrime scene here just months before a virus attack took down the corporate computer systems and website of Qatar-based RasGas, one of the world’s largest liquified natural gas suppliers (LNG). The August 2012 incident took place days after Saudi oil giant Aramco recovered from a similar assault.

No respite

Justin Doo, Symantec’s MENA cloud and security practices director, said individuals and corporations in Qatar shouldn’t expect any respite from such attacks this year:

“In 2013, we foresee a continued increase in spam activity, as well as a steady rise in targeted attacks in Qatar with financial and political motivation.”  

“As these trends continue, organizations in Qatar will need to be vigilant about protecting their information by understanding their risk posture and deploying security policies and technologies to minimize the threats,” he added, as quoted in the Gulf Times.

According to the US-based company’s Security Intelligence Report, new threats to look out for include:

  • Ransomware: This increasingly popular cybercrime involves infecting a computer system and restricting access until a ransom is paid to the creator of the malware;
  • Madware: Mobile adware can infect a device when a user downloads an app. It often sends pop-up alerts to the notification bar, adds icons, changes browser settings and gathers personal information. This can potentially expose location details, contact information and device identifiers to cybercriminals; and
  • Trust-based attacks: Capitalizing on consumers’ trust of social media, criminals use information offered in Facebook profiles, for example, to win the trust of users and then trick them into providing payment details, and other personal and potentially valuable information.

Additionally, ICTQatar offers these tips to protect your financial assets. 

Have you noticed an increase in cybercrime in Qatar?

Thoughts?

Credit: Photo by marsmet481

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