In the second half of 2022, as compared to the same period in 2021, globally, the number of cyber-attacks targeting the government sector has increased by 95%
In 2022, the number of cyber-attacks against Indian government agencies doubled, making it the most targeted country in this sector, according to CloudSEK XVigil research.
“This expansion is the result of the hacktivist group Dragon Force Malaysia’s #OpIndia and #OpsPatuk campaigns. Numerous hacktivist groups joined and supported these campaigns, which laid the path for subsequent ones. Government agencies in India have become popular targets of extensive phishing campaigns,” the report said.
Accounting for 40% of the total incidents reported in the government sector, India, along with China, USA and Indonesia, continued to be the most targeted countries in the last two years.
In the second half of 2022, as compared to the same period in 2021, globally, the number of cyber-attacks targeting the government sector has increased by 95%, the report said.
One reason for this has been the rapid digitisation in this sector, brought about as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. This has increased the attack surface for threat actors, as well as made it easier for hostile governments and state-sponsored actors to use cyber warfare to target other nations.
The motivation for carrying out cyber-attacks has moved on from purely financial gains to making a social or political point with hacktivist activity accounting for 9% of the recorded incidents in the government sector.
Ransomwae groups, accounting for 6% of the total incidents reported, were also very active in this industry, with LockBIT as the most prominent ransomware operator, it said.
The long-drawn war between Russia and Ukraine has also led to an increase in cyber threats against state-owned entities. The report said that this is the era of cyber warfare, which involves weaponizing hacking to both initiate attacks and prevent cyber-attacks.
Cyber warfare can sabotage the electric and physical assets of a nation, and cause physical-world disruptions, along with economic damage,” it said.
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