After the Covid-19 stuck and work from home (WFH) became the norm across the country, there has been a concomitant rise in cyber attacks in India aimed at compromising digital systems of public and private companies and enterprises.
As per the statistics revealed by the Indian government in Parliament, the country saw over 3.5 lakh cyber security incidents in the month of July and August, triple the number of incidents that it saw in the first three months of 2020.
Quoting data from the Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In), the government said that between January and March, the country saw over 1.13 lakh cyber security incidents. It increased to over 2.3 lakh incidents in the quarter to June.
The government, however, denied allegations that India is among the top five countries that face the most cyber attacks.
CERT-In has issued 23 advisories, including on the secure use of video conferencing tools, securing mobile devices and apps, online safety of children and various phishing attack campaigns pretending to be from popular apps and services.
It has also come out with 37 advisories regarding securing digital payments, for users and institutions.
Is India more vulnerable?
India’s rising internet usage is also making it vulnerable for such cyber attacks.
As per a NITI Aayog member report “India ranks 3rd in terms of the highest number of internet users in the world after USA and China, the number has grown 6-fold between 2012-2017 with a compound annual growth rate of 44%”.
The government said, “with proliferation in internet and mobile phone usage, there is a rise in number of cyber security incidents in the country as well as globally. Proactive tracking by CERT-In including its Cyber Swachhta Kendra and National Cyber Coordination Centre (NCCC) and improved cyber security awareness among individuals and organisations across sectors has led to increased reporting of incidents.”
CERT-In is operating the round-the-clock Incident Response Helpdesk. CERT-In has tracked, received reports and handled a total number of 53117, 208456, 394499 and 696938 cyber security incidents during the year 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020 (till August) respectively.
The typical targets
Separate industry reports say the web applications of high tech industries (33%), banking and finance (33%), government (17%) and transportation (17%) were the most heavily targeted by attackers during July and August 2020.
Just last week, a malware attack was reported on 100 computers of the National Informatics Centre (NIC), which, as it happens, is responsible for securing critical cyber-infrastructure in the country. It comes under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY).
A similar cyber attack was unleashed on NHAI last month. Multiple servers and PCs were infected with ransomware, that ended up in complete shutdown of the systems for two days.
Via: Economic Times