UAE to face
advanced cybercrime in 2013
Last year the UAE was ranked as one of the most highly spammed countries worldwide - with a spam rate of 73%, according to Symantec's 2011 Global Internet Security Threat Report, Volume 17. In addition, over the past six months the UAE has consistently had a higher percentage of inbound spam in comparison to the global monthly average, according to Symantec's Monthly Intelligence Reports. The high-level of spam can be attributed to cyber criminals capitalizing on the rapid growth of internet penetration and pirated software making compromises more effective when successful.
Earlier this year, the findings of the Norton Cybercrime Report revealed that 1.5 million people fell victim to cybercrime in the UAE in the past twelve months, costing the country $422m (Dhs1.5bn) in direct financial losses. Cyber attacks are expected to be even more problematic due to an increase in new forms of cybercrime compared to last year, such as those found on social networks or mobile devices. In fact, in 2012 the UAE witnessed an overwhelming 46% of its social networking users falling victim to cybercrime on social media networking platforms, a high percentage compared to the global average of 39%.
"In 2013, we foresee a steady rise in targeted attacks towards governments, companies and individuals with financial and political motivation. In addition to traditional cybercrime, the UAE's high number of mobile devices per person creates a new avenue for increasingly sophisticated incidents," said Justin Doo, cloud and security practices director for Middle East and North Africa, Symantec. "On a global scale, malicious cyber attacks rose by 81% in 2011 and as this trend continues, organizations in the Middle East need to be vigilant about protecting their information."