Kaspersky expects more fake news as elections draw near

FILIPINOS might get bombarded with more fake information as the Philippines prepares for the national elections in 2022, global cybersecurity company Kaspersky Lab said.

“The whole region is quite ripe for potential disinformation campaigns,” the company said in an e-mailed statement on Monday.

It added that such tactics would be increasingly used by various stakeholders as some countries hold elections this year and onward.

The increasing number of social media and mobile device users means that disinformation campaigns would have a “larger effect on opinions than was ever seen previously,” Kaspersky said.

The Philippines will elect new leaders from president and vice president to lawmakers and local government officials next year.

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Vietnam also plans to hold its general elections this year, while Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said the country would hold its general elections once the coronavirus pandemic is over.

Last year, the personal information of more than two million Indonesian voters were leaked online. Kaspersky said similar attempts at data intrusion could be made in other Southeast Asian countries.

Wider use of technology last year increased the potential for more data breaches, Kaspersky Asia Pacific Security Researcher Muhammad Umair said.

“Those who have been quick to come on board this transformation must also be just as vigilant to protect themselves,” he said.

“As always, social engineering remains to be one of the most effective attack vectors and just as much as technology, a strong focus on education and awareness is needed more than ever,” he added.

Kaspersky said Southeast Asia is one of the worst-hit regions for attacks on industrial control systems, or computer-based systems used in manufacturing. — Jenina P. Ibanez

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