The global cost of cybercrime is projected to hit $6 trillion annually by 2021 where Bangladesh is at frontier position.
“The cost represents the greatest transfer of economic wealth in history and will be more profitable than the global trade of all major illegal drugs combined,” Cybersecurity Ventures, a independent portal conducted study said.
2019 saw a rise in ransomware attacks on institutions, more cyberattack services from the Dark Web and data breaches galore. In Bangladesh the incidents of cyber attacks continue to rise at different commercial and service-providing outlets despite taking various preventive measures.
In recent years, Bangladesh has become one of the most vulnerable countries in cyber space. Cyber-attacks often took place, which caused loss of assets in very recent time, according to the Kaspersky Security Bulletin
Bangladesh is in the second position in the level of infection among all the countries. 69.55% unique users are in the highest risk of local virus infection in Bangladesh. 80% users are the victim of spam attack according to Trend Micro Global Spam Map. In a recent test of two hours that was run in Bangladesh Computer Council, total number of infected IP in Bangladesh was 34552. IP’s of renowned companies like Grameen Phone, Banglalion, and Link 3 were also found in that list.
According to state-run Bangladesh e-Government Computer Incident Response Team (BGD e-Gov CIRT) under the Ministry of Posts, Telecommunications and Information Technology, the incidents registered with the organisation increased to 870 in 2018 from 683 in 2017. The figure was 379 in 2016.
Of the attacks, vulnerability accounts for 63.2 per cent, intrusion or hackings 5.7 per cent, malicious code 22.5 per cent, abusive content 4.5 and the rest comprise fraudulence, intrusion attempts, service request, information security and others.
But the actual number of attacks will be much higher as a good number of commercial or service- providing outlets do not report such incidents to the state-owned special unit, insiders said. The government formed the BGD e-Gov CIRT under the Bangladesh Computer Council (BCC) just after the incident of Bangladesh Bank’s reserve heist took place. It was formed to combat any such fatal intrusions further.
Capitalising on weaknesses in the security of Bangladesh’s central bank, including possible involvement of some of its employees, perpetrators were able to steal US$81 million which was transferred to the Philippines on February 05, 2016. Meanwhile the government installed sensors at 15 important internet connection sites to prevent cyberattacks. Also, a world-class cybersecurity agency will be formed to ensure security round the clock. Its office will be at Kaliakair in Gazipur.
All these initiatives have been taken nationally and will be implemented jointly by the central bank and commercial banks. In addition, banks are installing anti-malware software to strengthen firewalls to ensure the security of digital transaction software. A cyber week will also be observed in October at the initiative of the government to create awareness among the people about cybersecurity.
A Cyber Incident Response Team (CIRT) was already formed earlier under the Bangladesh Computer Council (BCC) to respond to any cyberattack centrally. Now, every commercial bank and the central bank also have their own cyber incident response team. These teams monitor online systems at banks round the clock. Initiatives have been taken to boost capacity of these teams.