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India second-most preferred destination in world for cyber attacks in '18. Are you at risk?

PW Bureau

India stood only next to the United States with a more than 120.8 crore ATOs in just one year. The US, on the other hand, recorded 1,200 crore ATOs

Bengaluru: India emerged to be the second-most preferred target for cyberattacks in 2018 as it reported about 1.4 lakh account takeover (ATO) login attempts every hour from people who were using stolen or generated username and password, a latest cyber security report has said. In a report titled 2018 ‘Credential Stuffing: Attacks and Economies’ by global firm Akamai, India stood only next to the United States with a more than 120.8 crore ATOs in just one year.

Most attacks were performed by botnets

“Each attack represented an attempt by a person or computer to log in to an account with a stolen or generated username and password. The vast majority of these attacks were performed by botnets or all-in-one (AIO) applications,” the report published by TOI said.

Akamai registered a total of nearly 30 billion credential stuffing—breaching of databases—attacks in 2018.

How did the US fare?

The US, on the other hand, recorded 1,200 crore ATOs, while Canada, which was the third most preferred target, witnessed 102.5 crore attempts. “The US is the number one spot for attack destinations because many of the most popular targets are based there,” the report said.

What are botnets?

Botnets are groups of computers that are used by hackers to find accounts that are vulnerable to being accessed by someone other than the account owner. These computers work on the basis of commands fed into them. AIO applications, on the other hand, allow an individual to automate the login or ATO process, and they are key tools for account takeovers and data harvesting.

How is your account susceptible?

This means that if your online accounts do not have robust security, like two-step authentication and unique characters as passwords, they are liable to being tracked by botnets and targeted by hackers.