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Cyber Risk is the New Threat to Financial Stability

Thailand’s digital minister asked experts to help plug gaps in e-commerce security after netizens discovered personal data from more than 13 million accounts up for sale on an underground website.

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Many of us take for granted the ability to withdraw money from our bank account, wire it to family in another country, and pay bills online.

Amid the global pandemic, we’ve seen how much digital connection matters to our everyday life. But what if a cyberattack takes the bank down and a remittance doesn’t go through?

As we become more reliant on digital banking and payments, the number of cyberattacks has tripled over the last decade, and financial services is the most targeted industry.

As we become increasingly reliant on digital financial services, the number of cyberattacks has tripled over the last decade, and financial services continue to be the most targeted industry.

13 million Thai personal accounts up for sale

According to a report by Statista, cyber security spending has seen a yearly increase from 2015, and is forecast to reach 0.07% of Thailand’s GDP by 2025.

However last month, Thailand’s digital minister asked experts to help plug gaps in e-commerce security after netizens discovered personal data from more than 13 million accounts up for sale on an underground website. The discovery prompted widespread criticism of Thailand’s e-commerce data protection system.

Digital Economy and Society (DES) Minister Buddhipongse Punnakanta said the stolen data includes names, telephone numbers, email addresses, and transactions of customers who made purchases through Lazada, Facebook, Line, Shopee and other platforms in 2018.

Cybersecurity has clearly become a threat to financial stability

Given strong financial and technological interconnections, a successful attack on a major financial institution, or on a core system or service used by many, could quickly spread through the entire financial system causing widespread disruption and loss of confidence.

Transactions could fail as liquidity is trapped, households and companies could lose access to deposits and payments. Under extreme scenarios, investors and depositors may demand their funds or try to cancel their accounts or other services and products they regularly use.

Cyber Risk is the New Threat to Financial Stability – IMF Blog

Myanmar

Digital Revolution and Repression in Myanmar and Thailand

Activists have also proactively published social media content in multiple languages using the hashtags #WhatsHappeningInMyanmar and #WhatsHappeningInThailand to boost coverage of events on the ground.

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By Karen Lee

Following the February 1 coup, Myanmar’s netizens became the latest to join the #MilkTeaAlliance, an online collective of pro-democracy youth across Asia.

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Ecommerce

How will oil prices shape the Covid-19 recovery in emerging markets?

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How will oil prices shape the Covid-19 recovery in emerging markets?

– After falling significantly in 2020, oil prices have returned to pre-pandemic levels
– The rise has been driven by OPEC+ production cuts and an improving economic climate
– Higher prices are likely to support a rebound in oil-producing emerging markets
– Further virus outbreaks or increased production would pose challenges to price stability

A combination of continued production cuts and an increase in economic activity has prompted oil prices to return to pre-pandemic levels – a factor that will be crucial to the recovery of major oil-producing countries in the Middle East and Africa.

Brent crude prices rose above $60 a barrel in early February, the first time they had exceeded pre-Covid-19 values. They have since continued to rise, going above $66 a barrel on February 24.

The ongoing increase in oil prices, which have soared by 75% since November and around 26% since the beginning of the year, marks a dramatic change from last year.

Following the closure of many national borders and the implementation of travel-related restrictions to stop the spread of the virus, demand for oil slumped globally.

In the wake of the Saudi-Russia price war in early 2020, Brent crude prices fell from around $60 a barrel in February that year to two-decade lows of $20 a barrel in late April, as supply increased and demand plummeted. The value of WTI crude – the main benchmark for oil in the US – fell to record lows of around $40 a barrel last year on the back of a lack of storage space.

While global demand for oil remains low, one factor credited with reversing the trend is the decision to make significant cuts to oil production, which subsequently tightened global supplies.

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