The heartburn over Heartbleed

Apr 28 2014, 01:13 IST
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India turned out to be one of the most vulnerable countries when it comes to cyber crime. India turned out to be one of the most vulnerable countries when it comes to cyber crime.
SummaryThe size and scope of breaches is exploding, putting the trust and reputation of businesses...

The size and scope of breaches is exploding, putting the trust and reputation of businesses at risk, and increasingly compromising consumers’ personal information —from credit card numbers and medical records to passwords and bank account details. The Heartbleed virus has placed millions of internet users’ personal information at risk; it has impacted many Indian websites too

Even as the catastrophic Heartbleed virus became a global threat early this month for online users, India turned out to be one of the most vulnerable countries when it comes to cyber crime and online scams like phishing, trojans and malware attacks.

As per RSA, the security division of EMC, India emerged as the top

nation in APAC region in terms of phishing attacks by volume closely followed by Australia and China. Estimated loss in India from phishing attacks stood at $225 million. Globally, loss due to phishing attacks was close to $5.9 billion which is significantly higher than $1.5 billion loss in 2012. The total number of phishing attacks in 2013 stood at 448,126 as against 445,004 the previous year.

Brands in the US, UK, India and Canada were targeted by almost 57% of phishing attacks in the first half of 2013. USA and Canada remained the most targeted countries by phishing attacks in 2013 with a total of 63% of the phishing attacks directed at them.

Attackers today are using sophisticated techniques to bypass defenses with many of these sophisticated attacks aimed at data, not dollar signs. Malware attacks today are becoming increasingly sophisticated and are able bypass existing security systems, with the shooting-in-the-blind approach of generalised mass spam emails being abandoned in favour of more targeted attacks.

When it comes to mobile malware infections, Kaspersky Labs said that India received more than 5% of the total attacks. In fact, the deadly Heartbleed bug impacted many Indian websites with a .in domain and more than 611 websites under were vulnerable, as per TrendMicro. It is a direct threat to confidentiality, says Arbor Networks.

“The main reason and possibility of the bug affecting the smartphone is that the mobile apps are also connecting to online servers and services to complete various functions,” said Dhanya Thakkar, MD, Trend Micro (India & SEA).

“It is a new kind of computer virus which exploits the vulnerabilities in the internet. It helps in accessing the usernames and passwords stored on the internet illegally. Heartbleed causes immense memory handling errors as sensitive personal data

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