For the first half of 2021, almost five million computers on work-from-home setups in the Philippines got hit by brute-force attacks.

Cybersecurity company Kaspersky recorded 4,877,645 attempts to infiltrate work-from-home computers via the Microsoft Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) from January to June 2021. This marks a 98.41-percent increase since the same period last year, which saw 2,458,364 attempts.

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The company noted that the number of brute-force attacks—a typically automated trial-and-error method of guessing the correct username-password combination to gain access to and control of sensitive data—has risen at alarming levels since March 2020 or when the country began its lockdown and shifted to remote working.

As majority of computers in the Philippines have Windows installed, researchers at Kaspersky figured cybercriminals would target RDP with the presumption that companies new to remote work environments would configure the protocol poorly and did not yet enforce a robust cybersecurity policy.

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