India 4th on list of most online security breaches
India with its ever growing digital presence has been ranked fourth in terms of online security breaches, with over 5 per cent of the total global threat detections around the world, according to a Symantec study.
While countries like the US and China, which have been entangled over allegations of cyber war and espionage between them, have taken the top two spots respectively with a combined total of almost 34 per cent of such detections. They are followed by Brazil and India.
Controversies over initiatives started in the country such as the Aadhaar scheme were bio-metrics of the citizens are taken and stored by the government and maybe vulnerable to cyber theft according to critics, and the recent admission of the State Bank of India that account details of its customers might have been hacked, put such a ranking into perspective.
Around the world, last year saw a resurgence of different online threats like e-mail attacks, virtual banking heists, ransomeware and even new technologies such as IoT and cloud proved vulnerable to such threats. With India especially vulnerable as instances of fraud in the country increased from 3.4 per cent in 2015 to 5.1 in 2016, while China was able to bring down hacks to under 10 per cent in 2016 from almost 24 per cent the previous year.
Tarun Kaura, a director at Symantec (solution product management- Asia-Pacific & Japan) is reported to have said, "Symantec uncovered evidence linking North Korea to attacks on banks in Bangladesh, Vietnam, Ecuador and Poland. This was an incredibly audacious hack and the first time we observed strong indications of nation state involvement in financial cyber crime." He added that the attackers were able to steal an amount of 94 million dollars.
Online data breaches of major online companies such as Yahoo had made headlines last year after the company reported in September that 500 million of its user accounts were compromised in 2014. A number that seemed small compared to the companies admission later that it had been a victim of the largest data breach ever reported with a billion of its user accounts compromised.
According to Symantec's data, more than 7 billion online identities have been stolen in data breaches in the last eight years.
The number of online identities stolen have almost doubled from 563 million in 2015 to over 1.1 billion in 2016, with cyber criminals making use of e-mails as an infection point and making it a ever growing threat to users.
In 2016, 1 out of 131 e-mails contained a malicious link or attachment, which is the highest in five years, according to Symantec. Whereas, businesses lost more than 3 billion dollars over the last three years, with more than 400 of them being targeted everyday through Business e-mail compromise (BEC), which typically rely on carefully composed spear-phishing e-mails.