Kuwait Loses Over $160 Million to Cybercrime
Between January 2022 and March 2023 cybercrime had harmed around 20,000 Kuwait citizens and residents, producing an estimated cost of over $160 million, said the unnamed security official to Al Qabas newspaper.
The official said that the Electronic and Cyber Crime Department at the Ministry of Interior faces major challenges in raising awareness to protect privacy, especially after the spread of artificial intelligence applications.
He said that cybercriminals disrupt digital systems and steal data from public and private institutions, adding that personal data available on social networks presents an added vulnerability.
The vast majority of the victims are senior citizens who are considered vulnerable group by attacker due to a lack of experience in dealing with technology tools. Most of the time they were approached through ‘WhatsApp’ messages and anonymous calls.
The official added that victims were also exposed to malware that provides cybercriminals remote access to their smartphones.
Earlier this year Kuwait’s Ministry of Commerce and Industry was also subject to a cyber-attack. Kuwaiti media reported that the hacking attempt was enabled through two personal computers which deployed LockBit ransomware into the ministry’s network.
According to Russian cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab, LockBit ransomware is malicious software designed to block user access to computer systems in exchange for a ransom payment.