Security companies are facing a new challenge in the form of Ransomware as a service (Raas). India ranks fourth in the growing trend of ransomware attacks as digital extortion is on the rise in the country and globally.
The average ransom demanded to date in 2016 for e-kidnapping of data has more than doubled from Rs 19,670 in 2015 to Rs 45,428, besides using Bitcoins (digital currency) to get back access or unlock data by cyber criminals.
Ransomware has quickly emerged as one of the most dangerous cyber threats facing both organisations and consumers, according to Norton by Symantec, one of the global leaders in cyber security software. A latest research by the company says that globally, consumers are the most likely victims of ransomware, accounting for 57% of all infections between January 2015 and April 2016.
“Ransomware can vary from holding treasured family photos, hijacking unfinished manuscripts for novels, and blocking access to tax returns, banking records, and other valuable documents to ransom. Moreover, there is no guarantee that paying the ransom will release those padlocks,” says Ritesh Chopra, country manager, Norton by Symantec.
Between January 2015 and April 2016, the US followed by Canada and Australia were the countries most affected by ransomware.
Accounting for 9% of the total infections, India ranked number four globally among the affected countries. Says KCS Raghuvir, assistant commissioner of police, Cybercrime police station, Hyderabad said, “We are seeing a gradual increase in the number of ransomware cases being reported in Hyderabad. This is nothing but a form of digital extortion where ransom is demanded from public to unlock their computers and files.’’