Cybersecurity attacks in Brunei saw an increase by more than 30 percent in 2018 compared to the previous year, according to the latest statistics by the Brunei Computer Emergency Response Team (BruCERT).
Quoting the Asia Pacific Computer Emergency Response Team (APCERT) Annual Report in 2018 in her welcoming remarks, Acting Chief Executive Officer of CIBFM, Hjh Sufinah Hj Sahat said that there have been a total 2,976 cybersecurity attacks recorded.
This figure is a 39 percent increase compared to the 2,143 cybersecurity attacks recorded in Brunei in 2017.
This was revealed during the Cybersecurity 2020 seminar organised by the Centre for Islamic Banking, Finance and Management (CIBFM) held at the Rizqun International Hotel.
The top three cyber-attacks that occurred in the sultanate, according to the report, were Malicious Logic, Non-Compliance Activity and User Level Intrusion, with the high severity threats being linked to malware-related activities.
These activities include generic malware, malware infection, malicious bot and IRC bot, along with some cases that involved unauthorised user access to files and shares.
Meanwhile, quoting a report made by AMBD last June, there were three cybersecurity-related incidents involving credit card fraud using Bank Identification Attack, Web Browser Tampering and Isolated Malware infection.
According to Head of BruCERT, Hj Mas Zuraime Hj Abd Hamid, the rise in the recorded number of cybersecurity attacks does not necessarily reflect an increase in cybercrime but rather an increased awareness by members of the public in proactively reporting such incidents.
“We see that cyberattacks have been rising since BruCERT was established in 2004, but it doesn’t mean that Brunei is being targeted by cybercriminals,” he said.
Malware for instance, which represents the majority of cybersecurity attacks in the sultanate with 1,791 cases in 2018, according to Hj Mas Zuraime, is the result of a more connected world as these types of viruses are a “borderless” threat spreading freely through the internet.
He added that with BruCERT’s increased measures in detecting and collecting data on cyberattacks through mechanisms such as honeypots, more cyberattacks are able to be uncovered thus also contributing to the rising statistics.
A honeypot is a decoy computer system for trapping hackers, designed to purposely engage them and identify malicious activities performed over the internet.
“To be honest, in Brunei, instances of cybersecurity attacks are not that high,” he said, however, he noted as the nation moves towards becoming a smart nation, it may give rise to new cyber threats such as the Mirai virus, a malware that primarily targets IoT devices.
There are, however, cybersecurity trends that are unique to Brunei, he added, such as scams and spams which are often intended to steal confidential information or sell personal information to another party.
The Cybersecurity 2020 featured a keynote address entitled “I Know You Have Been Hacked” by Dr Magda Lilia Chelly, Managing Director of Responsible Cyber who is also one of the top 20 cybersecurity experts worldwide.
She is also one of the top 50 cybersecurity influencers globally.
This was then followed by a panel discussion titled “How Safe Are You?” Led by Muhammad Aziman Hj Munawar, Manager at AMBD. The panelists were Dr Magda Lilia Chelly, Hj Mas Zuraime, and Anping Kwee, Regional System Engineering Leader, FireEye.
The Bruneian | BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN