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Thailand’s Response to Escalating Cyber Threats

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The Cybersecurity Act, enacted in 2019, serves as a pivotal legal framework to bolster Thailand’s cybersecurity measures. The legislation empowers various government agencies to collaborate on cybersecurity efforts, facilitates information sharing, and establishes guidelines for incident response.

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Thailand has been actively engaging in international collaborations and partnerships to address the escalating cybersecurity challenges. The government has participated in regional forums and conferences to share best practices, discuss emerging threats, and enhance coordination with neighbouring countries in the fight against cybercrime. This collaborative approach is crucial in an interconnected world where cyber threats often transcend national borders.

To continue this commitment, Mr Prasert Chandraruangthong, the Minister of Digital Economy and Society (DE) in Thailand, announced a strategic collaboration between DE and the Royal Thai Police—the initiative led by Pol Gen Torsak Sukwimon, Commander-in-Chief of the Police, aims to combat various forms of cybercrimes, with a particular focus on call centre scams and online gambling activities.

Pol Lt Gen Worawat Watthanakornbancha, the Royal Thai Armed Forces Commander-in-Chief, established the Online Anti-Crime Centre (AOC 1441) on November 2023 to spearhead these efforts. This centre operates as a One-Stop Service, providing round-the-clock assistance to the public in addressing online issues. The centre boasts a War Room for real-time monitoring and coordinated operations to prevent and suppress online criminal activities promptly.

The measures implemented include immediately suspending or freezing criminal accounts involved in online fraud and providing swift relief to victims. The overarching goals of this collaborative effort are to:

  1. Ensure continuous follow-up on the status of problem-solving for victims at every step.
  2. Expedite the tracking and return of money to victims.
  3. Enhance the efficiency of arrests, prosecutions, and the expansion of cases using digital technology.
  4. Facilitate immediate integration of relevant departments upon receiving reports from victims.

The operation has already yielded several results, as evidenced by Operation Cyber Guardian, which targeted and apprehended offenders in four prominent cases.

  1. App-based Scam: Thai authorities successfully arrested a gang tricking individuals into downloading fraudulent apps. A 960,000 baht was seized and returned to the victims. The criminals impersonated officials from the Comptroller General’s Department, convincing victims to download an application related to pension processing. The victims unknowingly transferred money to the criminals’ accounts, immediately freezing the accounts.
  2. Online Gambling Network: In a crackdown on the online gambling network, over 200 million baht was found in circulation. Three websites were identified as part of the same network, with over 100,000 player members and an annual turnover exceeding 200 million baht. Authorities successfully obtained arrest warrants for ten individuals involved in the operation, including website owners, programmers, and financial supervisors.
  3. Cash-on-Delivery Scam: Following an expansion of results from a parcel delivery scam, authorities raided a large warehouse in the Bang Bon area. The arrest targeted individuals involved in pretending to send parcels for cash on delivery without prior orders. Authorities arrested the main suspect, Mr Anusat, along with other accomplices, and seized numerous items worth over 20 million baht.
  4. Obscene Image Editing Gang: In a case involving the editing of obscene images through a secret app group, two suspects were arrested. The group, operating under the account name “Please cut it out,” had approximately 120,000 followers. The criminals offered services to edit images into nude or explicit content for a fee. Authorities successfully tracked the financial route, leading to the arrest of the beneficiaries and the seizure of computer equipment and mobile phones.

Minister Prasert emphasised the commitment to eradicating technological crime, including online gambling and fraudulent activities. Integrating efforts across public and private sectors aims to reduce damage, minimise risks for citizens, and introduce new measures to thwart criminal operations promptly. The collaboration underscores the importance of leveraging digital technology to combat cybercrimes effectively and protect citizens in the digital era.


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