Abu Dhabi: The number of cyberattacks against websites in the UAE decreased to 155 in the first four months of the current year, as compared to 297 attacks during the same period in 2017, a decline of 48 per cent.

The decrease in the number of cyberattacks from January to April this year reflects the significant success of the National IT Emergency Response Team of the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) in deterring hacking attempts.

According to the TRA’s statistics, cyberattacks during the first four months of the current year mainly targeted government and private sector websites.

Forty-five cyberattacks involving fraud and phishing were recorded during that period, and 26 attacks aimed to leak information. The other attacks involved defamation and other purposes.

The authority’s statistics also showed that 85 attacks had a medium impact, 35 had a low impact, and 35 attacks a major impact.

The TRA’s list of major cyberattack risks includes the vulnerability of Internet Explorer, Cisco’s Smart Install, the hidden programmes included in Microsoft updates, the Ziklon programme, and ransomware on the cloud.

The TRA is working to raise awareness on how to counter malicious programmes by holding seminars and awareness programmes for the entire community.

The TRA requires all authorities to follow its information security policies and back up their data on devices that are not connected to the internet. It also recently launched a campaign, titled ‘They Do Not Deceive You’ as part of its duty to raise community awareness.