KSA records 60 million cyber-attacks in 2015

Oil and gas, banking and telecommunications among vulnerable sectors most likely to be attacked

Tags: Cloud computingCyber crimeSaudi Arabia
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KSA records 60 million cyber-attacks in 2015 Muhammad Amin: "The Kingdom is the most susceptible country in the Middle East to such attacks due to its key status economically and politically." (Getty Images)
By  Aasha Bodhani Published  May 1, 2016

The Kingdom had experienced more than 60 million cyber-attacks last year, with sectors such as oil and gas, banking and telecommunications were all targeted.

Security expert and information security researcher Muhammad Amin revealed that the 60 million attacks in just one year, made Saudi Arabia the most attacked country in the Middle East.

"The Kingdom is the most susceptible country in the Middle East to such attacks due to its key status economically and politically," Amin said. "It is a country that is rich in oil and gas and it has potentials that criminals and other countries seek to take advantage of. All these factors make the Kingdom a target of these attacks, which is deemed the most prominent contemporary security problem."

Amin explained that the vulnerable industries, in particular oil and gas, are more likely to be targeted by hackers as they rely on industrial equipment that is typically remotely controlled by the Internet. Furthermore, as smart cities continue to evolve, the common trend is that everything is connected to the Internet, from smart solutions to monitoring systems, all of which are susceptible to cyber-attacks.

The finance industry is also popular; Amin explained such banking attacks can be split into three levels - hacking of individual bank accounts, ATMs and point-of-sale systems.

"Such cyber-attacks on 100 banks around the world resulted in theft of $2.5m. Complex attacks are executed by criminal groups who use various means to transfer funds and change account names," he added. 

Amin made clear the importance of the Kingdom using technology to combat these issues. "Awareness is necessary for the user so they can ensure the safety of devices connected to the Internet. One should be aware about such crimes especially since terrorists benefit from illicit money stolen in cyber-attacks."

 

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