India with a young population and millions of mobile connections and rapid adoption of cloud computing, has emerged as a top source as well as destination of cyber attacks. Once considered the spam capital of the world, India has seen a steady decrease in the amount of spam originating from its borders. India is also a top source of overall malicious activity including spam, malware, phishing hosts and bots, etc. This was revealed in the latest Internet Security Threat Report (ISTR) released by the cyber security specialist organisation Symantec.
As people conduct more of their lives online, attackers are increasingly focused on using the intersection of the physical and digital world to their advantage.
The report said that every sixth social media scam globally impacts an Indian. As per the report, India witnessed a 156 per cent increase in social media scams in 2015 making it the most targeted country in Asia and second in the world. As per the report, 94 per cent of these scams were spread through manual sharing, proving that India’s burgeoning social media population remains a favored target of scammers as they seek to leverage the trust people have in their own social circles to spread scams, fake links, and phishing.
Interestingly the report also revealed that cyber scammers now make you call them to hand over your cash. As people conduct more of their lives online, attackers are increasingly focused on using the intersection of the physical and digital world to their advantage. The report said that in 2015, cybercriminals revisited fake technical support scams, which saw a 200 per cent increase globally. With close to 5, 00,000 attacks last year, India ranked 11 amongst countries targeted the most by tech support scams. As per the report the difference now is that scammers send fake warning messages to devices like smartphones to prompt people to call attackers directly in order to dupe them into buying useless services or even install malware.
“The Symantec Internet Security Threat Report reveals just how lucrative India is for cybercriminals. In fact, India is the second most favoured destination for Ransomware in Asia with the average number of attacks per day increasing 114 percent to 15 attacks per hour. Almost 10 percent of these attacks were crypto-ransomware- posing a threat to consumers and enterprises alike,” said Tarun Kaura, Director –Solution Product Management for Asia Pacific and Japan, Symantec while revealing the report in Bengaluru.
Another glaring trend which the report highlighted was that small businesses in India were targeted the most by cyber criminals in 2015. November was the busiest month for cybercriminals in India and across the globe, with an average of 2.5 targeted attacks per day being aimed at Indian enterprises in this month.