‘India ranks 3rd in Asia when it comes to ransomware attacks’

New Delhi, Dec 14 (IANS) India is the third highest Asian country to receive ransomware attacks — a type of malicious software, says a new report, adding that with the growth in “Internet of Things” (IoT) industry, the vulnerability towards infections and new malware threats will only increase.

Sharing its security prediction in 2016, the US software security firm Symantec Corporation — that produces software for security, storage, backup and availability — said India receives ransomware attacks with over 60,000 attacks per year or 170 malware attacks per day.

Ransomware is a type of malware that prevents or limits users from accessing their system.

This type of malware forces its victims to pay the ransom through certain online payment methods in order to grant access to their systems, or to get their data back.

According to Symantec’s “Internet Security Threat Report” (ISTR), India has evolved from law enforcement emails (seen largely in 2013) to crypto-ransomware.

According to Symantec, 86 percent of ransomware attacks in India were Crypto-ransomware.

Crypto-ransomware is a ransomware variant that encrypts and locks user files and will be released only in exchange of a payment.

Symantec recently partnered with the National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom) to build cyber security skills in India and develop world-class skilled and certified professionals leading to employability, especially for youth and women to check the growing vulnerability towards cyber attacks.

Aspirational project like “Digital India,” under which the country is progressing towards the establishment of its first 98 “smart cities”, has garnered the maximum attention from the IT sector as this project will rely heavily on technology because “smart cities” are technology-driven.

For this, according to a report by The Department of Electronics and IT, India eyes five-six percent share in $300 billion global IoT industry by 2020 and issued roadmap for development of machine-to-machine (M2M) communication which will lay foundation for IoT in the country.

A recent report by Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) said that India would surpass the US with 402 million Internet by 2016.

“India is poised to end 2015 with 402 million Internet users, overtaking the US whose Internet population is estimated at 300 million. India’s Internet population will go up by 49 percent in 2015 compared to last year,” the report noted.

The report added that this number is expected to further surge to 462 million by June next year as more people come online, especially through their mobile devices.

The IoT is the network of physical objects or “things” embedded with electronics, software, sensors, and network connectivity, which enables these objects to collect and exchange data.

The annual study from Symantec is based on findings from its global intelligence network of 41.5 million attack sensors, monitoring threat activity in more than 157 countries and territories.

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