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UAE under constant threat from cyber criminals

Security firm Trend Micro confirms cleaning of 180,000+ affected computers in Q1

Organised cyber crime is the biggest security threat globally, and the UAE is not immune, according to a senior security expert from Trend Micro.

While Internet usage in the UAE has grown by 212 percent since 2000, an estimated 49.8 percent of the country's citizens are prone to cyber crime today, according to the security firm.

In the first four months of 2009, Trend Micro says it has cleaned more than one million affected computers across the Middle East. Of these, 187,881 were in the UAE.

"Cyber criminals are calling the shots today, and security vendors are scrambling to catch up," said Rik Ferguson, Senior Security Analyst, Trend Micro.

"As the underground economy has grown and prospered, businesses and consumers alike are suffering financial losses, identity theft, and damaged reputations. Security professionals are scrambling to catch up, both with the newest malware variations and with the exploding number of Web threats."

The threat environment has evolved from mass notoriety worm outbreaks in 2001 to covert dangers in 2008. Most internet users are not aware that their PCs have been compromised.

In the EMEA region 56.90 percent of threats are downloaded from the internet; 51.72 percent are dropped silently by malware; while 22.41 percent of machines are affected by removable physical drives.

Trend Micro says it is seeing similar behaviour in the Middle East.