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26 January


Hong Kong Police fight against cyberscam

Over the past year in Hong Kong deceived users to 18.8 million US dollars

Photo: AP

/NOVOSTIVL/ Hong Kong police have teamed up with five cybersecurity companies to offer free tools for smart device users to scan for and remove viruses as hackers stole HK$147 million (US$18.8 million), a 16-fold increase, from victims last year. This article appeared in the South China Morning Post.

The cybersecurity campaign, which first started in 2017, has been stepped up amid a rise in incidents. Police recorded 47 hacking cases last year compared with 37 incidents and HK$9.1 million lost in 2017. Hacked devices included mobile phones, tablets and computers.

There were six cases in the first two months this year, resulting in losses of HK$200,000 in total.

Chief Inspector Rachel Hui Yee-wai from the force’s Cyber Security and Technology Crime Bureau said applications downloaded from official app stores might also carry viruses which allowed hackers to control a device remotely.

Culprits could then open a browser on the device and draw the user to a phishing website, deceiving the victim into entering personal information such as bank account password or credit card verification number, Hui added.

The largest single case last year involved a bank in Chile which lost HK$85 million after its server was hacked, resulting in nine unauthorised transactions to four different Hong Kong bank accounts.