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  • Writer's pictureChristian Malnawa

Cybercrime capabilities need improvement to counter rising cyber threats in the ASEAN Region

Quezon City Philippines – DILG Secretary Eduardo M. Año said on a press release on November 28, 2020 that there is a need for the law enforcements units in ASEAN region to improve its capabilities in the fight against cybercrimes.

This is after an alarming increase in cyber threats due to the pandemic was reported by International Police Organization(INTERPOL) last August. In the report, it was stated that there was a 59% increase in phishing/scam/fraud, 36% for malware/ransomware, 22% for malicious domains, and 14% increase in fake news.

INTERPOL had already warned that cybercriminals are taking advantage of the downward flow of the economy and people’s anxiety by using Covid-19 as basis for their attacks.

Año who represented the country during the 14th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Transnational Crime (AMMTC) held on Thursday, November 25 said that there is a need to reconstruct regional programs, strategies, mechanisms, and capacity-building initiatives to facilitate regional cooperation on the global pandemic.

He further told that the ASEAN community must continue to unite its actions in addressing new forms of transnational crimes and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Año also said that there is a need to empower the youth and other vulnerable sectors and continue the exchange of intelligence and best practices.

During the meeting, a joint statement was also adopted wherein Ministers/High-Level Representatives from the ASEAN member countries expressed their strong commitment and dedication in the fight against transnational crime amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Ministers and high-level representatives have also vowed to work for a cohesive response to new and emerging crime trends vis-a-vis improved cyberspace capability.

“We join hands in solidarity, and to maintain close coordination to overcome these difficulties and pledge to do our utmost to contribute toward the expeditious return to normalcy in the post-COVID-19 world,” the joint statement reads. The 14th AMMTC meeting was hosted by the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.



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