Tackling Dark Web identity theft

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Tackling Dark Web identity theft

Digital devices are everywhere, enabling an increase in cybercriminals’ access to valuable users’ personal data.

Recently, the fight against identity theft got a boost with Trend Micro, a Cybersecurity company, launching an ID Security app solution to scan the dark web for personal data.

A 2018 report by CyberSecurity Malaysia’s MyCERT Incident Statistics reported 446 identity theft incidents in Malaysia, showing a 20 percent increase from the 2017 figure of 371.

While identity theft is not new to Malaysians, increased digital devices give cybercriminals access to more personal data for undue financial advantage. According to Trend Micro, identity thieves often take up their victim’s identities online to deceive family and friends into revealing sensitive information to commit a crime.

Also, the efforts to curb Coronavirus transmission made the Movement Control Order to increase its digital activities to give Malaysians at home access the internet for various needs since March 18. Due to an increase in online activities, the Malaysian Police reported a rise in cybercrime involving 249 incidences with estimated losses of about RM6.7 million from April 1 to 27.

According to Tim Falinski, Trend Micro’s MD, Consumer, APAC, cybercriminals can severely impact the lives of everyday Malaysians. Tim said, as more Malaysians go online, the presence of cyber criminals increases. He is concerned that identity thieves can pick the vast unprotected personal data Malaysians left online.

While some Malaysians are aware of security threats to their personal information in cyberspace, many are careless about how they share such details. Typical personal details often shared carelessly include contact address details, NRIC or passport number, date of birth, and so on that put them at risk if picked up by cybercriminals.

Even graver is the massive data breaches of recent years, especially 2017, over 46 million mobile telecom subscribers was cornered.

Although many Malaysians are worried about the safety and misuse of their personal data, most of them failed to realize they are culpable in exposing their data to risks. At the moment, Malaysians are beginning to notice a spike in data breaches, but are yet to understand the gravity of such action.

The need to protect Malaysians and internet users from cybercriminals is the reason for introducing ID Security, Tim said. The increase in the exchange of personal data on the dark web makes personal data travel further than anyone can imagine and make such data easily accessible to identity thieves. The Trend Micro solution will protect Malaysians against cybercriminals and allow them to track their data.

Through dark web monitoring, ID Security solution will tackle identity and personal information theft and address the concern for identity theft and protect data, even with an increase in the activities of cybercriminals in marketplaces.

The app-based solution works by scanning the dark web, the hidden websites that are not visible to the regular browsers, and search engines. The app scours these treacherous sites for data breaches, and leaked personal information and identified the affected accounts. Upon finding any sensitive personal data, the app will send a notification for appropriate actions.

ID Security deploys cutting edge encryption technology to protect personal data and privacy. Users can access the app online through the publisher’s website or app store. It will be available in-store once Trend Micro authorizes the appropriate module securely.