Cyber-attacks have cost Russian firms and citizens up to $49 bn in 2020 as the number of crimes linked to bank cards has shot up by 500%, the country’s largest lender Sberbank said. The private sector remained the most vulnerable as everything from the accounts to financial data and documents was targeted. Over 2.3 mn darknet accounts operating in Russian offer the stolen data. Russians may lose as much as 10 bn roubles from phone fraud this year alone.
62% of the cybercrime complaints lodged in 2020 were related to financial frauds, Delhi police said in a statement. Cops witnessed a rise in incidents of cybercrime during the lockdown. 24% of the complaints were related to online harassment on Social media, while 14 % were about hacking and data theft. Cases were also registered in matters related to tech support, immigration and IRS call centre scams which targetted foreign nationals.
Chinese hackers, based out of Guangdong and Henan provinces, targeted millions of Indians with shopping scams during festival season sales in Oct and Nov, according to Cyberpeace Foundation. The cybercriminals created spurious links on WhatsApp for users to click to participate in contests and win exciting prizes. Some of the scam contests used elements from actual sales on Amazon India and Flipkart to make them look legitimate and trick users.
Cybersecurity agency Kaspersky detected 120 suspicious websites mentioning ‘PlayStation’ in their scams and phishing campaigns. Cyberscam around gaming console increased as Microsoft and Sony launched Xbox X and PS5, respectively this month and together they found mention in half of the malicious activities. PS holds 96% of gaming consoles in India, enabling cybercriminals to use its popularity to luring people to steal private and monetary data.
National Cyber Security Coordinator Lt Gen (Dr) Rajesh Pant said that Cybercrimes caused a loss of Rs 1.25 lakh cr in the country in 2019. He said that cyber threats will continue to rise following the development of smart cities and 5G network rollout. The NCSC said that only a few Indian firms make cybersecurity products and there is a big gap in the sector. Pant said that it is not only apps but there are 15 different attack vectors from where a mobile phone can be hacked.
Microsoft’s Digital Defense Report details the rapidly increasing security threats by nation-state actors from China, Iran, N Korea, S Korea, Russia. Phishing-enabled ransomware attacks are specifically on the rise, followed by attacks on IoT devices. Nation-state actors are using highly sophisticated techniques that allow them to target high-profile individuals/businesses without being caught; eg: using cloud to appear legitimate; it makes tracking difficult.
Mumbai recorded maximum number (2,527) of cybercrime cases in 2019, after Bengaluru (10,555). Experts believe that the number should be much more than 2.5K but out of 50 complaints filed by the victims only 2 are converted into FIRs. The state-wise data labels Maharashtra to be at the 3rd place with 4,967 cases in 2019, preceded by UP with 11,416 cases and Karnataka with 12,020 cases. The Maharashtra cyber cell is constantly cyber awareness in the state.
ProtonMail studied that there’s been a 155% increase in Indians searching for secure or encrypted email in the last 12 months. Indian results were even above the global average. Globally, searches for encrypted email rose by 50% in the last 12 months and 123% for private email in 24 months. ProtonMail said that the rise of cybercrimes in India could be prompting users to look for secure ways of operating online.
A survey by Barracuda Networks found that 53% of Indian firms lack an up-to-date cybersecurity strategy to cover the vulnerabilities full-time remote working can cause. Exacerbating the scenario, 79% have allowed employees to work using personal devices and networks. WFH-led cyberattacks have affected nearly 66% Indian firms; phishing attacks hitting 67% of them. 83% plan to move their data to 100% cloud-based model. The survey is based on 247 Indian businesses.