Forum: More examples needed to raise awareness of computer network red flags, cyber crimes

I appreciate the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore's (CSA) reply (Several initiatives to help people protect themselves against cyber crimes, Sept 10) to the comments I raised earlier (Give more details of cyber crimes so users can protect themselves better, Sept 3).

I believe many computer users in Singapore, myself included, have benefited from the initiatives rolled out by the CSA.

Nowadays, when I buy consumer electronics, one of the things I look out for is that a product is certified under the Cybersecurity Labelling Scheme.

The tips of using strong passwords, multi-factor authentication and learning how to spot signs of phishing make up ongoing education that consumers need to be cognisant of, so as to internalise the cyber hygiene practices.

But I am puzzled as to why the CSA stopped short of highlighting and elaborating on the idea of situational awareness in computer network activities.

One example I can think of is illegal cryptocurrency mining. This is a technique where hackers plant malware in unsuspecting users' computers and steal computing resources.

Besides electricity, stolen resources can also include power from the central processing unit, and memory capacity.

Hackers illegally tap these resources to make money.

A telltale sign that someone's computer is illegally tapped is a slowdown in computer speed.

If a user is aware of this, he can act by checking if there is unusually high resource consumption in his device, and seek professional help if needed.

There are other situational awareness examples I can think of. But examples from the CSA would be more credible.

Tan Kar Quan

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