From credit card data theft to massive corporate thefts, the fast growing Asia region is also the fastest growing spot for computer hackers. As Tara Joseph reports, a lack of government cooperation and public awareness is making matters even worse.
It's ground zero for global cybercrime... But experts say leaders in Asia aren't doing nearly enough to prevent hack attacks. From stolen credit card data to massive thefts like the Bangladesh central bank heist, the message from analysts is act now or things are going to get a whole lot worse. (SOUNDBITE) (English) REUTERS REPORTER, TARA JOSEPH, SAYING: "This city like many others in Asia lack comprehensive laws on dealing with cyber criminals. Experts say the Asia region is 5 to 10 years behind the U.S. and Europe on dealing with criminality online." It's a two-pronged problem for Asia... On the one hand, governments are so politically and mentally divided that it's practically impossible to bring in regional laws. (SOUNDBITE) CYBER SECURITY EXPERT, SUNIL RATHOUR, SAYING: "There's a huge issue of face. There are a lot of businesses we know of in Hong Kong and around Asia that have not admitted to having been breached. They don't want to admit that they have messed up basically." Asia may be especially vulnerable - but the effects of cyber crime here can be felt around the world. A massive attack on the Hong Kong-based toymaker Vtech last year gave hackers access to millions of childrens' profiles- exposing names, addresses, and parents' credit card numbers from the U.S. to France. Interpol is stepping up the battle in Asia opening a regional anti-cyber crime center in Singapore. But analysts say this entire region needs a complete mental reboot if the problem is ever to be taken seriously.