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Ministry tells public to beware of phishing and online gambling

Taing Vida / Khmer Times Share:
A user plays an online poker game. KT/Siv Channa

The Interior Ministry’s information technology department has warned online gamblers that they are vulnerable to hacking and phishing attacks as authorities try to keep pace with criminals.

According to a statement obtained yesterday, the department said online gambling has hooked many youths. It said the number of online gamblers have increased dramatically over the years, and that it’s a problem the authorities are attempting to address.

It noted users who gamble online could be vulnerable to phishing schemes.

“A person could hack into your account and steal your password through hacking,” it said. “It can access webcams and microphones that can capture [image] and record your voice.”

It noted that computers and mobile phones are vulnerable to malware attacks and that hackers can steal data or even take control.

Koem Sereyvuth, deputy director of the department, yesterday said the department has identified most online gambling platforms used in Cambodia. Mr Sereyvuth said most are based in foreign countries.

However, Mr Sereyvuth noted that knowledge is important in understanding how phishing and online gambling are correlated.

“It’s an advanced technological crime that our police are incapable of addressing right now,” he said. “We will continue to learn.”

Lieutenant General Hor Sam Ath, director of the IT department, yesterday said some online gamblers were duped into the drug business and other crimes.

“The authorities would like to appeal to all citizens to stay away from illegal online gambling,” Lt Gen Sam Ath said. “Our officers are now tracking crimes and addressing the issue carefully.”

Him Yun, director of the Coalition for Integrity and Social Accountability, yesterday said the authorities should directly educate people, adding that most smartphone users lack the knowledge to comprehend the technology.

“It’s a big concern for Cambodian citizens because most people are behind when it comes to technology,” he said. “They could be at risk if they are not educated about the matter.”

Hom Sothun, a 32-year-old resident of Phnom Penh, yesterday said he plays poker on his smartphone during his spare time.

“I was introduced to poker by a friend,” Mr Sothun said. “At the beginning, it was easy and I could get bonuses easily.”

“I had no idea about the negative effects,” he added.

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