More than 3.6 lakh cyberattacks have been launched against various Indian companies in the last half year. This is research conducted by CyberPeace Foundation, an organization for a free and safe Internet, and two other similar organizations.
Over the past six months, from October until now, Indian oil companies, both private and state-owned, have been plagued by cyberattacks and hacks. One of the worst involved the Assam office of Oil India Limited.
The partly government-owned company announced that a group of hackers managed to breach their system and ended up leaving a ransom note that demanded $7.5 million (over Rs. 57 crore). This attack took place only a few days ago.
The study was partly funded and led by the e-Kawach wing of the CyberPeace Foundation to understand the leaks, gaps and weaknesses in India’s digital framework and security. They even processed data to understand the internet traffic they receive and how to optimize it to make it smooth for everyone.
e-Kawach is an initiative of the CyberPeace Foundation which is working with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to launch two dozen honeypots across the country.
A honeypot is a launched system that tracks and analyzes a cyberinfrastructure to assess its security and find out what kind of threats it faces. Using this data, the Indian government can assess how it can improve its framework so that sensitive data is not leaked and none of its systems are compromised.
A massive attack of 3.6 lakh in just six months does not bode well for the government. October saw 11,763 attempts, and with the exception of December, that number has steadily increased. In January this year alone, more than 52,000 attacks were reported, while in March the number was close to 70,000.
The report also states that hackers used software such as FTP and Modbus to hack into Indian systems.
Not only is this happening but there has been a scam going around WhatsApp where people received a fabricated job offer from Indian Oil with a link attached and it takes you to a third party server.
India really needs to crack down on these cyber attacks because data and technology is the new gold and it needs to be protected as a priority. If they don’t, India will soon be compromised.