Microsoft releases Security Endpoint Threat Report, India possess biggest Cyber threat challenge

Microsoft's latest edition of its Security Endpoint Threat Report finds that India is vulnerable to malware, ransomware, and drive-by attacks.

By · Jul 30, 2020 . 6min read

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Microsoft released its Security Endpoint Report 2019 earlier today. The report found that India suffers amongst the highest cryptocurrency mining encounters and drive-by download attacks. Microsoft analyzed more than 8 trillion threat signals received daily over the last 12 months to arrive at its findings.

Asia-Pacific experienced an encounter rate that is 1.6 to 1.7 times higher than the global average. Only six countries were on the receiving end of more attacks than India. It experiences attacks 1.1 times higher than the regional average of 5.89% last year. With respect to ransomware attacks, India was 3rd highest in the region.

The Microsoft Security report stated that India was subject to the second most cryptocurrency mining attacks in Asia. These attacks occur when an individual’s computers is infected with a cryptocurrency mining malware. Once this happens, attackers can draw computing power from the infected device unbeknownst to the owner of the device.

Drive-by attacks occur when a user visits a specific website or fills out a form online. Malicious code gets downloaded on the user’s computer at the point at which their passwords and financial information are at risk. Overall drive-by attacks decreased across the region, but India, Singapore, and Hong Kong continue to experience a high rate of attacks. This is likely because they are financial hubs.

Keshav Dhakad, Group Head & Assistant General Counsel-Corporate, External & Legal Affairs, Microsoft India, said,

“Cybercriminals capitalize on drive-by download technique to target the organizations and end-users with the objective to steal valuable financial information or intellectual property. This is a likely reason for regional business hubs recording the highest volume of these threats. We’d like to emphasize that the high encounter rate does not necessarily translate into a high infection rate as the level of cyber hygiene and usage of genuine software prevents the systems from getting compromised.”

COVID-19 themed cyber attacks

COVID-19 has brought along with it new challenges in the cyber security space. Attackers are impersonating organizations like the WHO or the CDC to slide into users’ inboxes. The nature of the malware itself is no different than what it has been. Moreover, COVID-19 has merely given attackers a fresh avenue through which to conduct their attacks.

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