Cybercrime in Thailand

     The technological advancement in the world these days has brought about many apparent effects. Apart from the changing patterns of financial and business transactions, it also leads to an increase in cybercrime. This new form of crime does not only affect the financial institutions or large business enterprises, but it also has impact on ordinary Thai people at grass-roots level. More importantly, while the cybercrime is likely to occur more frequently in developed countries due to their advancement in technology, it does not mean that the developing nations have no possibility to be the victims. To give an example, the recent cyber-attack on the Central Bank of Bangladesh in February 2016 caused the massive loss of more than 3,000 million baht on illegal transactions. Because of this, it is obvious that the developing countries could become likely target for the cybercrime as well.


     In case of Thailand, the preparation for dealing with the treat from cybercrime is absolutely necessary, especially for the grass roots in rural areas who are entering globalization’s door through internet technology and stepping into the cyber world. On the one hand this could open up channels of trading with the outside world, but on the other hand their ignorance and innocence might result in being the victim of various patterns of cybercrime. As such, at present the preparation for cybercrime prevention is obviously crucial and inevitable in Thailand.


   In Thailand, according to the statistics of complaint cases reported to the Technology Crime Suppression Division or ‘Cyber Police’, based at the central office, it is indicated that the most common case is defamation, followed by being cheated by selling products or services. Other cases include being hacked to modify or steal or destroy data, a romance scam and being hacked for money transfers (phishing). These reported cases are in accordance with the pattern of complaints received in provinces in various regional areas. It is worth mentioning that the crime victims tend to be either villagers or ordinary people, while the targets towards business organizations or public agencies still cannot be found clearly. However, the case of hacking to blackmail Saraburi Hospital in September 2020, and the growing cases of hacked data of commercial banks’ clients have caused widespread damages. Thus, the issue of cyber security has become a center of attention for both public and private sectors. Previously, the poll surveyed by Cisco in 2018, Asia Pacific Security Capabilities Benchmark Study revealed that more than half of companies in Thailand did not effectively manage cyber threat alarm.


   Concerning the academic sphere, the universities and educational institutions have been keenly interested in cybercrime, such as including its topic as well as cybercrime prevention into many universities’ courses. The Chulalongkorn University’s Criminology course even established the Center for Cybercrime Research and Study, and also provided students with cybercrime prevention in classes. At the same time, in business and government sectors, there are many training sessions on such issue to deal with a rise on cybercrime.