Local cyber threats hit 45% of online users in India in 2020

Cyber Threats

Mumbai: Local cyber threats targeted 45% of online users in India with rootkits and removable tools in 2020 revealed Kaspersky.

Kaspersky products detected and blocked 200,238,155 local cyber threats on consumer devices between Jan-Dec 2020. The year 2020 has witnessed great chaos due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the increasingly rising number of cyberattacks in India as well as globally.

The increased activity of the nefarious cybercriminal groups became a major concern for the government bodies, enterprises as well as remote working employees, students and internet users. From online shopping to e-learning, the number of users online increased multi-fold this year, and so did the cyber threats targeted at them.

The KSN report detected and blocked 133,318,878 internet-borne threats in 2020. This affected 35% of the internet users in India, placing India on the 43rd rank globally. These were social engineering attacks, wherein a user was made to download a malicious file to his/ her device.

This happened when cybercriminals made their victim believe that they are downloading a legitimate program in the guise of various scams related to covid19 and other trending issues throughout the year. Cybercriminals vigorously targeted remotely working employees and students due to the lack of necessary security solutions on their devices.

As of January 2021, the number of global users encountering various threats using popular online learning platforms as a lure reached 270,171 — a 60% increase when compared to the first half of 2020.

Local threats targeted 45% of the online users in India with rootkits and removable tools like malicious USB drives and other offline methods. Brute force attacks on Remote Desktop Protocols (RDPs) also saw a massive increase of 242% globally. The number of detections in India alone went as high as 36 million (36356139) in 2020 between January- November.

The share of attacks hosted by servers in India was 0.19%. That is 7,714,258 incidents in the period January-December 2020 were recorded, which puts India in 18th place worldwide.

While spear phishing and web-skimming were prominent threat vectors in 2020, the cybercriminals also used social media platforms to target their victims and gain financial credentials and other sensitive data.

According to Saurabh Sharma, Senior Security Researcher (GreAT) – Kaspersky (APAC), the threat landscape in India and APAC region has been constantly evolving.

“Threats are becoming more and more sophisticated and targeted in nature. The threats nowadays are not only looming over enterprises and government bodies but also are targeted at individual internet users. As they can be assumed to be vulnerable and an easy target by the nefarious groups of cybercriminals in order to obtain larger financial gains from them, with very little investment,” said Sharma.

“Cyber Criminal groups have been more active than ever in 2020 and will continue to try and exploit our vulnerabilities for their financial gains. The best way to avoid being a target is to understand the evolving threat landscape, and develop a robust security system for our devices that will help us in keeping our data safe,” said Dipesh Kaura, GM – Kaspersky (South Asia).

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