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45% of Indian online users hit by local threats in 2020

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New Delhi, March 5: From online shopping to e-learning, the number of users online increased multi-fold in India and a new report revealed on Thursday that 45 per cent of online users in the country were attacked by local threats in 2020.

Global cyber security firm Kaspersky detected and blocked over 13 crore internet-borne threats in 2020. This affected 35 per cent of the internet users in India, placing the country at the 43rd spot globally.

According to the Kaspersky’s latest report, it detected and blocked over 20 crore local threats on the consumer devices between January-December 2020.

“The threat landscape in India, as well as in the APAC region, has been constantly evolving and the threats are becoming more and more sophisticated and targeted in nature,” said Saurabh Sharma, Senior Security Researcher (GReAT), Kaspersky (APAC).

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.

“Most recently, the trend of targeting attacks within the country have also been observed, in order to get hold of some sensitive data that can be misused by the cyber criminals,” Sharma added.

In such social engineering attacks, a user is made to download a malicious file on his or her device.

“Remotely working employees and students were vigorously targeted by cybercriminals 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 per cent increase when compared to the first half of 2020,” the Kaspersky team said.

The share of attacks hosted by servers in India was 0.19 per cent — that is over 77 lakh incidents in the January-December 2020 period, which puts India in the 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,” the report mentioned.

“As we look forward to building a digital nation, it becomes equally necessary for us to be prepared to fight against the perils of the World Wide Web. Cybercriminal groups have been more active than ever in 2020 and will continue to try and exploit our vulnerabilities for their financial gains,” explained Dipesh Kaura, General Manager, Kaspersky (South Asia).


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