comscore India becoming strategic target for cybercriminals: Report

India becoming strategic target for cybercriminals: Report

  • Published: October 6, 2015 10:55 AM IST

India is fast becoming a “strategic target” for cybercriminals with an estimated 38 percent of organizations exposed to targeted attacks in the first half of 2015, a report said. Also Read - Cryptocurrency regulation bill: How worried are Indian investors?

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Security solutions firm FireEye’s ‘1H 2015 Regional Advanced Threat Report for Asia Pacific’ found that 38 percent of organizations in India were exposed to targeted advanced persistent attacks in the first half of the year, a 23 percent increase from the previous year. “India is fast becoming a strategic target, in part because of the potentially sensitive information that is expected to be digitized through ambitious and high-profile projects such as Digital India,” it said. Also Read - India's first virtual science lab launched for students: Here's what the govt wants to acheive with it

The focus on the country is reflected in the report that ranks India fourth in Asia-Pacific countries exhibiting the most command-and-control (CnC) infection callbacks. This indicates the presence of compromised systems that are actively communicating with the advanced persistent threat (APT) groups’ command-and-control infrastructure. “As India embarks on ambitious technology projects, attackers are exploiting gaps to compromise critical networks.

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Indian organisations are more likely to be exposed to attacks than the global average,” FireEye Chief Technology Officer (APAC) Bryce Boland said. In the future, India’s growing economic clout and rising regional influence are likely to make it a more attractive target to threat groups, he added. “These threat groups seek access to intellectual property, intelligence and critical infrastructure,” Boland said.

In the first half of 2015, FireEye revealed two attacks likely conducted by China-based threat actors on Indian organisations. ‘APT30’ conducted a decade-long cyber-espionage campaign that compromised, among others, an Indian aerospace and defence company, it said.

The ‘WATERMAIN’ campaign targeted India and its neighbouring countries and appeared to target information about ongoing border disputes and other diplomatic matters, it added. The report found over 50 percent of telecommunications firms and government organisations have faced APT, with education and the high-tech industry not far behind across the APAC region. “Geopolitical tensions in the region have steadily ratcheted up in recent months, and cyber activity reflects this. Organisations in every geography in APAC, including India, experienced a higher or equal rate to APT groups than the global average of 20 percent,” it said.

FireEye said Indian organisations should ensure existing security tools are up to date and should implement an adaptive defence security model that can help shorten the time it takes between finding a breach and stopping it. Organizations also need to develop new ways to collaborate with other corporations, trade groups, and governments to share threat intelligence, it added.

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  • Published Date: October 6, 2015 10:55 AM IST

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