India ranked 2nd in cyber attacks through social media in 2014

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Bengaluru: At a time when the social media population in India is growing rapidly, the country has ranked second in a list of nations that were most targeted to cyber crimes through social media in 2014. First on the list is United States of America.According to the Internet Security Threat Report (ISTR) released by Nasdaq-listed security solutions provider Symantec, India saw over six% of the social media scams globally, marginally higher than the UK and Canada.

“While emails are still the more prevalent means of cyber attack, the report said, attackers are using social media as a “ready base” for crime as they continue to experiment with new attack methods that reach more people with less effort.
Globally, 70% of the attacks on social media fooled users to manually share scams, followed by fake offerings, hitting the ‘like’ button, commenting or through fake applications.

Separately, the report said, around seven internet users in India faced ‘ransomware’ attacks every hour in 2014, where their devices were restricted by attackers who demanded ransom to remove the restrictions. India saw over 170 ransomware attacks per day in 2014, taking the number of such attacks to over 60,000 during the full year, the report said.

Ransomware is a type of malware that restricts access to the device that it infects, and demands a ransom paid to the creators of the malware for the restriction to be removed.

“While social media scams can provide cybercriminals with quick cash, some rely on lucrative and aggressive attack methods like ransomware. Ransomware rose globally by 113% last year. India reported the third highest ransomware in Asia, with an average of more than seven attacks every hour,” Symantec said.

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