Kiasu Singaporeans had shown their Ugly Characters again on their websites

Kiasu Singaporeans had shown their Ugly Characters again on their websites

SINGAPORE, Jan 5 — Singapore websites are becoming increasingly risky to visit because they expose their users to virus attacks and malicious software.

A global study on the security of 104 web domains by online security software firm McAfee ranked Singapore sites as 10th worst in the world last year.

It is a significant leap up a roll of dishonour: Singapore sites were collectively ranked 67th most risky in 2008, and 63rd the year before.

The 10th-place ranking puts Singapore sites among those of Cameroon and China, with those registered in Japan and Australia being among the world’s safest.

McAfee’s red-flagging of Singapore as having the biggest jump in the number of risky sites in the past year could tarnish the island’s image as a business hub and a nation at home with e-transactions.

Online security specialist Aloysius Cheang, president of the Special Interest Group in Security and Information Integrity, a local non-profit IT security society, said: “This could reduce trust and the probability of Singapore as a platform to build e-commerce.”

Online security specialists put the trend down to a rise in computer and Internet penetration here, which entices cyber-criminals to buy up domain names ending with ‘.sg’, all the better with which to scam Singapore netizens.

McAfee researchers who trawled through 17,630 Singapore websites found 9per cent, or 1,607, to be ‘risky’.

In 2008, just 0.3 per cent of these sites were malicious — that is, they could spread viruses or malware or secretly track the keystrokes made by those who visited them, in order to mine passwords used for online transactions.

Statistics from the Singapore Network Information Centre (SGNIC), the national registry of .sg domain names, indicate that the number of domains registered here jumped from 87,650 to 111,357 between December 2007 and last month.

These sites range from music and video downloading sites to online shopping ones.

Ong Geok Meng, McAfee Labs’ manager of anti-malware research for Asia-Pacific and Japan, noted that a good proportion of domains rated risky were personal or commercial sites, and were either legitimate ones hacked into by scammers or set up by scammers specifically.

Cheang said the high computer and Internet penetration rate here had created a large pool of potential victims for scammers. As of last October, each household here had 1.3 broadband lines, an increase on a year ago, when it was under one per household.

He noted that the situation here mirrored that of Hong Kong a few years ago. Public education drives for Internet users there have since fixed the problem: Only 2.1 per cent of Hong Kong sites were deemed risky last year, down from 19.2 per cent in 2008, said the McAfee study.

Cheang pointed out that Singapore’s networks being so plugged into the global network of undersea cables has a dark side: It means hackers can easily control the computers here from anywhere in the world.

Another factor lies in the ease of the registration process. Buying a Singapore domain takes only five minutes.

And a domain can be registered with stolen credit card information, too, Web security specialist Mark Goudie of IT solutions firm Verizon Business added. No questions are asked and perpetrators leave no trail.

A third factor is that domains do not cost much to buy. Singapore provider Cybersite, accredited by SGNIC, charges just S$39 (RM94) a year to register a domain.

SGNIC does, however, impose some rules. For example, websites cannot be used for unlawful purposes, and can be shut down if found to be “undesirable”.

SGNIC has also turned away applicants who have repeatedly registered websites or transferred ownerships. It is also more stringent with foreigners seeking to register websites, but applications are accepted as long as a valid Singapore postal address is supplied.

SGNIC declined to say how many bad registrations were submitted each year. — The Straits Times

M Insider, Warning: .sg websites get red-flagged

Kiasu, From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Kiasu (Traditional Chinese: 驚輸; POJ: kiaⁿ-su) is a Hokkien (a Chinese spoken variant) word that literally means ‘fear of losing’ (Mandarin Chinese: 怕輸). However its actual usage would imply a meaning more approaching that of “dog in a manger“, and yet not quite.[citation needed] Examples of kiasu behaviour includes accumulating too much food on one’s plate during a buffet lunch in case there is no more later, or joining a queue many days in advance just to ensure that one successfully gets hold of the limited free tickets to events, promotions and shows such as Singapore’s annual National Day Parade.

This word is so widely used by Singaporeans and Malaysians that it is incorporated into their English vocabulary (in the form of Singlish). It is often used in describing the social attitudes of people, especially about South East Asian society and its values. Its widespread use is often because these attitudes are common—to not lose out in a highly competitive society (e.g. by above-cited examples), or to the extent of parents imposing heavy study labour on their children in their wish to make them at the very top of all other students. Growing up with this attitude, these students often become ambitious businesspeople, with the desire to be on top in wealth and prestige regardless of whether the most prestigious careers are aligned with their true capabilities.

Kiasu is commonly compared to Kiasi (literally, fear of death) and both are commonly used to describe behaviour where Kiasu or Kiasu-ism means to take extreme means to achieve success and Kiasi or Kiasi-ism means to take extreme means to avoid risk.

It is often perceived as part of Ah Beng culture. The comic series Mr Kiasu depicts many examples of kiasu behaviour.

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