Rate of cybercrimes up by 39%, says expert
JEDDAH: A Saudi information security specialist revealed a rise in the rate of cybercrimes in the country.
He confirmed that Saudi Arabia leads other Gulf states in terms of electronic threats by 39 percent.
Competent authorities have made efforts in this regard to increase awareness on the issues of cybercrime and malware, he pointed out.
This came at a time when “Trend Micro Inc.,” a global security software company, expressed fears against the vulnerability of the Kingdom in the face of cybercrimes, with the country recording this year a disturbing increase in the number of infected computers and devices, a local publication reported.
The security software company said that more a user connects to the Internet, the greater are the chances for Internet viruses. Trend Micro said it defined this year only more than 95,000 malwares as a monthly average in Saudi Arabia.
Information security researcher Mohammad Al-Sareei said the Kingdom leads the Gulf countries in electronic threats by 39 percent. This data was disclosed by Kaspersky Lab, an international software security group, and Norton, in which its latest report on the results of electronic security issues showed that about 6.5 million people in Saudi Arabia were subjected to cybercrimes last year.
“The competent authorities and officials are working on intensifying campaigns to raise awareness of the seriousness of these malicious programs, the seriousness of cybercrimes and the dangers of social networking sites, such as breaching and spying, impersonations, spreading rumors, slandering, harassment, extortion, swindling and fraud, which all inflicts harm on society on the social networks” added the researcher.
He confirmed that social networking sites and government websites have become a theater for such cybercrimes and an arena for new types of clashes, conflict, destruction and pirating.
He said breaching personal data on a government website is a crime punishable with four years in jail and the payment of a fine not exceeding SR3 million, or either of the two.
He explained that impersonation, which means taking a false personality in front of others, is in the lead of other crimes on Twitter and Facebook, and that there are the dozens of accounts on Twitter and Facebook with the same profile, but without knowing who the real owner or person is.
“According to the Anti-Cybercrime Law of the Kingdom, this crime is punishable by imprisonment of not more than three years and a fine of not more than SR2million, or one of the two penalties,” he added. The crime of extortion, he noted, involves trying to obtain forced material or moral gains from a victim by threatening to unveil and disclose secret or private information.
“This phenomenon has, in particular, increased lately with widespread use of social networks such as Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter, and has been classified as the most prevalent electronic crimes.”
“Penalty for extortion, according to the Saudi Anti-Cybercrime Law, involves imprisonment of not more than a year and a fine of not more than SR500,000, or either of them,” concluded the information security specialist.
Any citizen or resident, the expert said, can report a cybercrime at the nearest police station, the Kuluna app on smart devices, or through Ebsher electronic portal, in addition to the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, on extortion cases in particular.
Source | zawya