x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Cyberattacks cost UAE residents billions of dirhams

Two UAE residents a minute fall victim to attacks by cybercriminals, at a cost of Dh2.3 billion over the last year, according to a report.

The total amount of cash stolen from UAE residents over the last 12 months amounted to Dh770 million, according to a report.
The total amount of cash stolen from UAE residents over the last 12 months amounted to Dh770 million, according to a report.

More than three quarters of UAE residents fell victim to cybercrime over the last year, at a cost of Dh2.3 billion, according to a report issued today.

At least two UAE residents a minute are subject to attacks from computer viruses, online scams and phishing attacks, according to the Norton Cybercrime Report.

The total amount of cash stolen from UAE residents over the last 12 months amounted to Dh770 million, with the time lost sorting out cybercrime cases valued at Dh1.5 billion.

The report found that 76 per cent of UAE residents were victim to cybercrime over the last 12 months.

That is above the average global rate of 65 per cent, according to the report issued by Symantec, which makes Norton anti-virus software.

The high rate of mobile use in the country meant that 20 per cent of residents have experienced phone-related scams, double the global rate.

The most common form of attack in the UAE was via computer viruses, followed by online scams and phishing.

"There is a critical need for users to take... steps to protect their personal information on the web just as they would for their physical belongings," said Tamim Taufiq, the head of consumer sales for the Mena region at Symantec.

"Eighty-four per cent of cybercrime victims in the UAE found an online attack to be just as frustrating and upsetting as one in the 'real world'," he added.

bflanagan@thenational.ae