India seeks spike in cyberthreats in December: Surfshark

India seeks spike in cyberthreats in December: Surfshark
Photo Credit: Pixabay


The increase in cybercriminal activity in India during the Diwali and Dussehra season seems to be spilling over to the end of year period, including festivals like Christmas. According to a report by virtual private network provider Surfshark, India was among the top five countries where the rate of cyberthreats spiked during the last month of the year. 

Portugal and Chile were the top two in terms of spike in threat rates, while Lithuania and Chile were behind. To be sure, Surfshark’s report covers only 70 countries around the world, leaving out the others because of a lack of availability of data. The full report is available here.

Further, the report, which is a continuous evaluation of threats detected by Surfshark’s antivirus service, recorded three times the number of attacks per 100 scans between December 12 and December 19, as compared to the week before. In all, the company saw the rate of threats increase, with nearly 36 threats detected after 300 scans till December 19.

That said, aggregated monthly data for the year showed that India is the 10th country by threat rate in the Asia-Pacific region since the start of the monitoring period from mid-October up to Christmas.

“The holiday shopping season leading up to Christmas is not only beneficial for the retailers but cybercriminals too,” said Nedas Kazlauskas, a senior cyber security expert at Surfshark. “People searching for gifts and deals online during the period of huge discounts are more likely to click on suspicious links, download malicious files, and infect their devices,” he added. 

The research also said that the most common threat types identified include riskware, which comprised over 44% of all threats. Riskware refers to legitimate software that has vulnerabilities and loopholes, which cybercriminals can exploit in order to infiltrate a system and perform unwanted activities.

Adware, viruses, trojans, and heuristic malware were the other popular kinds of malware. While adware that downloads onto a PC and automatically displays advertising material, viruses and trojans are usually disguised as legitimate software or emails, etc. Heuristic malware, on the other hand, refers to malware that can disable antivirus software and change security settings on a system.

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