Action plan to reduce spam threat from Oman
By staff - Mon May 23, 12:46 pm
Talking to Times of Oman, an IT security expert said on the condition of anonymity that the low number of Internet users in the Sultanate compared to other developed countries, coupled with the exceptionally high spam rate here, clearly showed that “Oman was being targeted”.
“Considering the low number of Internet users here compared to countries like the UK, Saudi Arabia or Egypt, we are facing a serious situation,” the expert noted, while calling for the formulation of a National Security Strategy to fight cyber crime in the Sultanate.
“All developed countries have their information technology security strategies and they accord them the top priority,” he noted.
“The Sultanate’s Information Technology Authority (ITA) and the National Committee for Information Technology (NCIT) are playing a vital role, but we require more concerted efforts to fight the cyber criminals who are continually developing and updating their software. We have to fight the cyber mafia more effectively,” he said.
“We should have a long term strategy to handle such issues.”
Faiz bin Habib Al Raisi, an information security expert based in Oman, said the cyber mafia were hacking the computer systems and were getting acquainted with the content and information without the knowledge of the users. “This is a real threat to each and everyone here in Oman,” he added.
A recent report by Symantec, a US company specialising in information security, said Oman was facing a serious problem as it topped the world in circulation of spam e-mails in April, at a time when spam mails worldwide had come down drastically. In April, Oman had a spam rate of 81.9 per cent, the highest in the world.
Symantec’s April 2011 Message Labs Intelligence Report expressed concern over the clear breach in the Sultanate’s Internet security, and ascribed this state of affairs to an absence of clear policies, plans and strategies in the field of information security.
In the US, 72.8 per cent of e-mail was spam and 72.7 per cent in Canada and the UK; in South Africa, spam accounted for 72.4 per cent of e-mail traffic.
Symantec’s Message Labs Intelligence is a respected source of data and analysis for messaging security issues, trends and statistics. Message Labs Intelligence provides a range of information on global security threats based on live data feeds from its control towers around the world scanning billions of messages each week.