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Indonesia’s Strategic Response for Data Resilience

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With Indonesia actively addressing cybersecurity challenges, including a surge in data breach incidents and phishing attacks, the nation is proactively bolstering its cyber resilience to safeguard digital infrastructure and protect citizens’ data, marking a crucial step towards a safer and more secure digital landscape.

A report has revealed that Indonesia ranks eighth globally in the number of high-profile data breach incidents, with approximately 820,000 incidents recorded in the second quarter of 2022 alone. This represents a dramatic 143% increase from the previous quarter, positioning Indonesia at the forefront in Southeast Asia and highlighting a significant rise in data security risks. Many of these breaches have involved APK files widely shared on social media, indicating a severe uptick in security threats.

Since 2023, phishing attacks utilising APK documents as a primary method for distributing malware have seen an observable rise. These scams often involve sending malicious files disguised as wedding invitations, traffic fines, or even employer termination notices. This trend underscores the urgent need for enhanced cybersecurity awareness and the development of more robust defence strategies in Indonesia to address the growing issue of data leaks.

The APK file format, used for installing applications on Android devices, includes various elements and codes that enable it to perform specific functions on the device. In this context, the file was used by fraudsters to deceive the recipient into installing an application that could access and manipulate personal data, including reading SMS messages. This could lead to unauthorised access to PIN codes and SMS tokens, facilitating illegal financial transactions such as transferring money from the victim’s account.

However, phishing is not confined to APK documents alone and bad actors exploit any vulnerability they can find. Cybersecurity expert Bruce Hanadi emphasises the susceptibility of digital security within the Indonesian populace, noting that many individuals maintain outdated or easily guessable passwords, thereby increasing the risk of security breaches. Moreover, Hanadi highlights the prevalent practice of using identical passwords across various accounts and devices, magnifying the potential impact of a single password compromise.

“Once a hacker guesses one password, they can access all accounts using that same password. Using easily guessable passwords, such as names of loved ones or car numbers, is highly risky and should be avoided,” Hanadi advises.

He also emphasises the importance of increasing cybersecurity awareness and education to protect citizens from such attacks. Better security practices like password managers and two-factor authentication can help prevent fraud and protect personal data from unauthorised access.

Indonesia is actively enhancing its cybersecurity measures amidst its digital transformation. One notable effort is the utilisation of, the government’s official information system, to receive online aspirations and complaints from the public, reflecting the nation’s commitment to fortifying its digital infrastructure and promoting transparency in addressing cyber threats.

The recent approval of the Personal Data Protection (PDP) bill by both the House of Representatives and the Government of Indonesia signals a crucial advancement in the nation’s cybersecurity and data privacy efforts. Upon ratification and publication in the State Gazette, this legislation will provide a comprehensive framework for regulating entities handling personal data, marking a significant shift in Indonesia’s approach to data protection. By setting clear guidelines and standards, the PDP bill aims to strengthen individuals’ control over their personal information, fostering greater trust and security in digital transactions while fulfilling the constitutional mandate

As digital transformation accelerates, the government will continually assess and update its cybersecurity strategies and laws to adapt to new challenges and technologies. This dynamic approach will ensure that Indonesia remains resilient against evolving cyber threats, thereby supporting its growth and securing its position in the global digital economy.


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