Emerging cities easy targets for cyber criminals: Experts

They say the nature of cyber attacks has evolved and they have become more organised and are specifically targeted.

Published:September 14, 2012 1:16 am

They say the nature of cyber attacks has evolved and they have become more organised and are specifically targeted

WITH India figuring in top 10 list of countries affected by cyber crime,emerging cities like Chandigarh,Mohali,Noida,Bhubaneswar,Surat and Jaipur are now becoming easy targets for cyber criminals due to the increased broadband penetration,say experts.

“Augmented by broadband penetration,smaller and emerging cities of India are exploring opportunities offered by the virtual world,in turn creating a new lucrative pool of targets for cyber criminals to exploit,” said Shantanu Ghosh,VP and MD,Symantec India,a security solutions firm,during a seminar here.

According to a recent report published by Norton,around 42 million people in India have been affected by cyber crime in the last one year. Ghosh said that almost 25 per cent of the bot-infections were observed in emerging cities citing lack of awareness as the main reason.

“Cyber criminals are turning towards these cities as they are more susceptible to cyber attacks. Levels of awareness and security measures adopted by the people and organisations are very low here,” he said.

The 17th Internet Security Threat Report which was released by Symantec in June showed that it was the smaller cities with emerging businesses that were at a higher risk of being affected by cyber crime. While over 10 per cent of the total cyber crimes reported were from Bhubaneswar and Surat,4 per cent of the attacks were reported in Cochin. Around 0.5 per cent of the cyber crimes were reported from Chandigarh,which is home to over 2,900 small and medium businesses that contribute over Rs 650 crore to the economy,has around 0.5 per cent of cyber crime activity reported.

Also,the nature of cyber attacks has evolved over the years and they have become more organised and are specifically targeted at individuals or organisations,Ghosh said. “Two decades ago,while cyber criminals created viruses that affected people on a mass scale and they did this only for fame. However,criminals today are driven by financial motivation and target specific individuals and organisations and systems without security softwares or pirated softwares are more vulnerable,” he said.

Social networking sites have seen a surge in cyber crime. Inspector Sriprakash,Chandigarh Cyber Cell,said,“We are currently investigating 28 cases of cyber crime in the city and a majority of them have been reported on social networking sites.”

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