Quick Heal blocks over 1 billion threats targeting Indian users

ST CORRESPONDENT
Thursday, 13 February 2020

According to the report, Quick Heal detected and blocked over one billion known and unknown threats targeting Indian consumers in 2019, accounting to over 2.9 million detections daily.

PUNE: Quick Heal Technologies, one of the leading provider of IT security and data protection solutions for consumers, businesses and government, has highlighted that Indian consumers are the most lucrative target for cyber criminals in its recently released Quick Heal Annual Threat Report 2020. 

The report is based on insights analysed by Quick Heal Security Labs based on the threat data collected during the calendar year.

According to the report, Quick Heal detected and blocked over one billion known and unknown threats targeting Indian consumers in 2019, accounting to over 2.9 million detections daily.

Consumers in Maharashtra and Delhi-NCR region were targeted the most, with 38 million and 25 million detections, respectively. West Bengal, Karnataka and Gujarat rounded off the top 5 states with the most threat detections.

Users residing in New Delhi saw more than 24 million threat detections in 2019. Other top Indian cities with the most threat detections include Mumbai, Bengaluru, Kolkata and Pune, which ranked 5th. 

The report also sheds light on how the threat landscape has evolved in 2019. Security researchers at Quick Heal revealed that cybercriminals used complex methodologies with the aid of advanced technologies to prevent easy detection of cyberattacks. Smartphones emerged as one of the most vulnerable digital devices. Hackers attempted to steal sensitive data in 2019 by targeting popular apps such as WhatsApp to deploy spyware and malware.

Cybercriminals also employed creative methods to drive successful attack campaigns such as targeting devices like Wi-Fi routers that people usually assume are safe from digital threats. 

They also exploited vulnerabilities in smart IoT-based devices including smart TVs, phones, IP cameras that are becoming increasingly popular among Indian households. 

Quick Heal also found that miscreants used ‘fake sextortion’ campaigns to target consumers. In this, cybercriminals gained access to one set of credentials such as a user’s social media password to make them believe their digital devices have been hacked.

Speaking at the findings, Sanjay Katkar, CTO and Joint Managing Director Quick Heal Technologies, said, “Cyber criminals today are increasingly using advanced techniques to hack vulnerable digital devices to extract private data in exchange for money. This data is sold to parties that typically do not have the best interest in minds. Unfortunate lack of awareness coupled with unpatched vulnerabilities and outdated operating systems makes the consumer an easy target. Through this report, we wish to highlight the degree of risk Indian consumers are constantly facing and reiterate our commitment to provide the best in class protection against advanced cyberattacks.”

PREDICTIONS FOR  2020
- Increase in Web Skimming attack
- Increase in threat landscape because of 5G
- Attacks against Windows 7 will increase

PRECAUTIONARY TIPS
Precautionary measures that can save from devastating cyber-attacks include:
- Keep backup of all data
- Keep strong and separate passwords for accounts
- Instal an antivirus as the first level of protection
- Enable two-factor authentication
- Regularly patch your systems with the latest software and updates
- Be careful while clicking or responding to emails received from unknown senders to stay safe from phishing emails
- Be cautious while clicking/downloading anything over the internet
- Try not to access confidential accounts on public devices or networks 
- Respond to anti-virus notification sensibly

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