US-based network security company FireEye on Monday revealed a sharp spike in cyber attacks aimed at extortion, marked by an increase in ransomware attacks, in India. FireEye found that ransomware detections in India rocketed by a factor of 292 in February 2016 over November 2015. Ransomware is a type of malware that renders the victim’s computer or specific files unusable and demands a ransom from the victim in return for a cryptographic key which can be used to restore the computer or decrypt the encrypted files. Also Read - PUBG Mobile: Grandson uses Rs 2.3 lakh for in-game purchases
Online virtual currencies are preferred methods of payment because they are not easily traceable, the company added. The success of prolific ransomware families such as CryptoWall has provided a blueprint for aspiring ransomware developers, showcasing increasing profit margins and campaign sustainability. Also Read - Elon Musk slams Twitter and Google for rising scams, fake botsAlso Read - Online scam: Bengaluru man loses Rs 95,000 after ordering a 'pizza' from Zomato
FireEye Threat Intelligence observed CryptoWall generate illegal gains of USD one million over a six-month period in 2015. According to the latest report by Kaspersky, India is one of the top five countries attacked by ransomware. The ransomware forces its victims to pay a ransom through certain online payment methods in order to grant access to their systems, or to get their data back.
In India, while 11,674 users were attacked by TeslaCrypt ransomware during March-May 2016, 564 users were attacked by Locky ransomware during the same period. Ransomware is a type of malware that prevents or limits users from accessing their system. Locky is a Windows ransomware infection that was released in the middle of February 2016. This ransomware infection affects all versions of Windows.