The Asia Pacific region is quite the hotbed for cybercriminal activity. This is especially where malicious spam emails are concerned. Cybersecurity company Kaspersky has shared that more than half of the malicious emails have circulated in five countries in the region. And according to the company, Malaysia is the second hottest place in the region for these spam emails.
Kaspersky says that, as of mid-August of 2022, five countries in the region accumulated 61.1% of the total malicious emails detected by its Mail Antivirus. To put things in context, the APAC region accounts for almost 24% of global malicious emails detected this year. On the top of the list is Vietnam, with over 3.09 million spam emails detected. Second on the list is, as mentioned, Malaysia with 2.36 million. Next on the list are Japan, Indonesia and Taiwan with 1.86 million, 1.80 million and 1.45 million spam emails, respectively.
Noushin Shabab, senior security researcher of the Kaspersky Global Research and Analysis Team, cites three main factors behind the high number of malicious emails in the APAC region. They are population, high adoption of e-services, and pandemic lockdowns.
As she elaborates, these spam emails are sent en masse by cybercriminals taking advantage of high usage rates of online services by individuals in the region. The APAC region also happens to have almost 60% of the world’s population, increasing the chances that a malicious email will snag a victim. As the pandemic lockdowns have sent a fair number of people working from home, the lax security at home compared to an office environment makes them more vulnerable to malicious emails.
All that being said, Noushin noted that the number of malicious spam emails detected by Kaspersky has been on a gradual decline since its peak in 2019. She shared these figures in a presentation during Kaspersky’s 8th APAC Cyber Security Weekend in Phuket, Thailand earlier in the week.