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Social media popularity attracts cyber criminals

Social media attracts cyber criminals
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India is listed as the third hot destination for the highest number of cyber attacks originating in the world. The overuse of social media among Indians is contributing to nearly 16% of all cyber attacks in the sub-continent.

The Internet Security Threat Report 2015 suggests that the country is the top destination for cyber crimes and scams, ever since 2012. The threat report created by the Global Intelligence Network (GIN) of Symantec Corporation, highlights the numerous software security breaches such as smartphone encryption being misused to hold sensitive data as hostage, and the tech support scam.  

"It is ironic that encryption that was devised as a method of securing important data is being used as a weapon by cybercriminals. Also, these criminals are now making people call them instead of calling people themselves. The increase in number of targeted attacks, which have increased by 55% from 2012 and 2015, indicates that the criminals know much more about individuals now," a leading newspaper quoted Tarun Kaura, Symantec's director of Solution Product Management for the Asia Pacific region, Japan.

Citing the recent trend of cyber crimes, Kaura said that people's personal information is now easily accessible through medical records and social media accounts, unlike in the past  when such information was only available through credit cards.

The report further explains that the malware number has grown by 200% from 23 lakhs in 2009 to 43 crores in 2015, which translates to 11.8 lakh malware being created every day in the last year.

It is estimated that at least 15% of the websites surveyed posed a potentially critical risk to the user while 78% of them were found vulnerable.

"One of our most scary finding this year was the increasing organization of cybercrime entities. They have started working like call centres, making regular calls out of an 'office', maintaining documentation, and taking the weekends off," explained Kaura citing it as the reason for the increasing zero-day cyber attacks.

"With a huge user base in India accessing online financial transaction services and the lack of laws relating to cyber security in the country, these things are not surprising. Framing and implementing good laws and taking action against the criminals will act as a deterrent for them," said Cybercrime expert Mahendra Limaye in support of the findings.

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