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KUWAIT CITY, March 26: With the advent of the holy month of Ramadan, and the increasing desire of people to do good, by donating to the needy, electronic fraud gangs are taking this opportunity in the holy month to lure and trap more victims, robbing their bank accounts and looting their assets, reports Al-Qabas daily. The most recent way for these swindlers to defraud customers was to display advertisements for the provision of maids for the needy during the month of Ramadan for 5 hours per day at 80 dinars.
According to the head of the Kuwaiti Society for Information Security, Dr. Safaa Zaman, the “month of goodness” was not spared from fraud and electronic fraud gangs, as fraud attempts spread with its advent by sending incorrect links to fake charities, or links to donate fasting meals and committees outside Kuwait, all of which are not correct, as confirmed by the association. Zaman confirmed that there are more than 200 cases of electronic fraud that occur daily in Kuwait, and usually only between 60 and 80 cases of exposure to electronic fraud are officially reported. She pointed out that the main reason behind the spread of the phenomenon in Kuwait is due to weak legislation, and the spread of data sales without any deterrent punishment for those who do so.
Dr Zaman revealed, based on the workshops and research presented at the Second Gulf Conference on Cybersecurity Challenges, Kuwait ranks third after the UAE and Saudi Arabia in terms of exposure to hacking attempts and cyber attacks globally. Zaman told the daily, “Kuwait, along with the rest of the Gulf countries, is not immune from the claws and fangs of that cyber war, but rather it is at the forefront of the targeted countries, so the governments of those countries should be well prepared to confront it with weapons and appropriate technological defenses.”
She indicated that, according to the findings of the researchers and experts participating in the conference, the UAE was the country most exposed to such cyber attacks in the world, followed by Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, then the Sultanate of Oman and Qatar in third place. She went on to say, there are main reasons that make the Gulf region a major target for global penetration operations, including the fact that it is oil countries and their financial level is reasonable and attractive to thefts and frauds, in addition to the lack of armed national cadres defending their property in the digital space, as most Gulf countries depend on foreign labor and international companies to provide its needs in the area of applications and technologies in the field of technology as well as information security. What is happening in the region is almost an invasion or digital occupation of most institutions and sectors of the state by foreign companies.
Dr Zaman revealed that malicious software (ransomware) had invaded most sectors in most Gulf countries, which made some of them surrender by paying huge amounts of money to hackers in order to free their data from encryption, indicating that during one year the losses in the GCC countries from cybercrime were estimated at one billion dollars, while specialized magazines have announced 2 million attempts to hack into banking systems and financial transactions in the Gulf region, and that the Middle East region, especially the oil and energy sector, military agencies, along with banks and investment entities, will be the main target of cyberattacks in the world, as every year hacking attempts increase as their tools evolve to be Smarter and more complex. Dr Zaman announced that the GCC countries are working towards establishing a unified Gulf federation for cybersecurity, revealing that the aim of this step is to face common challenges amid the technological revolutions the world is experiencing, and to benefit from the experiences of countries that have excelled in the field of cybersecurity.