Cybercrime on the rise in the Middle East

With the increase in the number of Internet users, web crime and all other forms of computer incidents pose the security problem in a broader sense.

Indeed, computer attacks are becoming more and more persistent, putting at risk for the actors of the world economic life. The health crisis facing states around the world has given more boost to these increasing acts of cyber malice. The approach of hackers remains virtually the same. Deceiving their targets by sending booby-trapped emails, with the aim of driving it on a platform or they will siphon off their data or corrupt their terminals. Phishing has never been used so much.

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In addition, the most open targets during this containment period are e-commerce sites. Even in the Middle East, the number of attacks has increased. There are more than 3,000 cyberattacks recorded in the Arab Emirates alone and around 9,000 for all golf countries. Such an explosion in the sector is due to the fact that there is no very good cybersecurity policy to protect the systems in this area. Not to mention that in the Middle East, my capital movements are poorly controlled, making them easily transferable everywhere, both inside and outside the borders. A situation that pleases cyber criminals very well. "If you're trying to hack into a bank in a country where capital controls exist, you can't transfer money abroad. Mohamed Belarbi, CEO of Vul9, a company that provides cybersecurity solutions, explained. He later added: "In the Middle East, there are few capital restrictions, so hackers will instead attack the banks in that region so they can transfer the money and get their loot," he said.

According to Trend Micro, a cybersecurity expert, the Gulf states have experienced more than 9,000 computer attacks via spam, phishing attempts based on the psychosis generated by the CoviD-19 pandemic. Of course, the United Arab Emirates was the state most affected by this brand of cybercrime.

Whether individually or en masse, cyber criminals have this mania to target people who do not have a very good knowledge of the computer field. Trying to trick it through messages sent via SMS or WhatsApp for example. Messages that usually include links that are redirected to fake websites to mislead them. It is for this reason that it is generally advisable to have a fairly reserved and cautious attitude towards messages that one receives from unknown recipients and even often friends, links.

"Sometimes it's not individual targeting, there are mass campaigns where hackers, for example, target all vulnerable versions of Windows or Mac: in this case, your camera is corrupted," says Belarbi. "So someone might explore everything in your computer while you're in the shower or in your room; so you always have to be paranoid, be one step ahead of the hackers and never give them the slightest chance to hack you. ».

Also, it is regularly recommended and be very careful digital hygiene. One of the best attitudes to adopt to protect against individual and mass targeting is of course to avoid using public WiFi networks when you want to access your online accounts. Whether these accounts are personal or professional. Avoid clicking on which conclusion from the message you will receive, regardless of the recipient. If you really want to check what's behind this link, you'll just have to go to the browsers to enter the site reference without necessarily going through the link. Avoid using the same password for multiple accounts, and never delay the security update of your devices, whether it's computers, tablets, or smartphones. Finally, it is essential to avoid installing on terminal, software that does not come from official stores, such as Appstore, the Google PlayStore or the Windows Store.

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