Mobile cyber-attacks have risen in India in past six months

Mobile cyber-attacks
Mobile cyber-attacks have risen in India in past six months

Total number of mobile cyber-attacks jumped to 12,719 cases in March 2021 from 1,345 cases in October 2020

A whopping 845 per cent jump in mobile cyber-attacks has been seen between October 2020 and March 2021 in India, even as most of the country’s corporate workforce and students continued to work and study from home.

As per Check Point Software Technologies’ Mobile Security Report 2021, the total number of mobile cyber-attacks jumped to 12,719 cases in March 2021 from 1,345 cases in October 2020.

Check Point is a global cyber-security solutions provider. Its latest report examines emerging threats to enterprise mobile devices from malicious apps to ransom-ware attacks.

Internet service providers (ISPs) in India, after the first wave of pandemic-induced lockdowns last year, said, from corporate clients they received cyber-attack alerts almost every alternate day compared with an average of once a week before the lockdowns.

“The move to mass remote working during the pandemic saw the mobile attack surface expand dramatically, resulting in 97 per cent of organisations worldwide facing mobile threats from several attack vectors,” Check Point Software said in its latest report.

Nearly, every organisation (globally), it said, experienced at least “one mobile malware attack in 2020 and 93 per cent of such mobile cyber-attacks originated in a device network, which attempted to trick users into installing a malicious payload via infected websites or URLs, or to steal users’ credentials.

Worse, 46 per cent of organisations worldwide had at least one employee download a malicious mobile app that threatened their organisation’s networks and data in 2020, the report added.

Further, Check Point’s report showed that due to flaws in the chipsets, at least 40 per cent or four out of 10 mobile devices globally are inherently vulnerable to mobile cyber-attacks and so the need urgent patching.

Last year, Check Point had unravelled a 15 per cent rise in banking Trojan activity where users’ mobile banking credentials are at risk of being stolen. Potential threat actors, it said, had been spreading mobile malware, including mobile remote access Trojans (MRATs), banking Trojans, and premium diallers, often hiding the malware in apps that claim to offer Covid-19-related information.

“The mobile threat landscape has continued to expand with almost every organisation now having experienced an attack,” says Neatsun Ziv, vice president (threat prevention) at Check Point Software. There are more complex threats of mobile cyber-attacks on the horizon as cybercriminals are continuing to evolve and adapt techniques to exploit a growing reliance on mobiles, he added.

Users should be careful to use only apps from official app stores to minimize their risk and enterprises need to adopt mobile security solutions that seamlessly protect devices from today’s advanced threats of mobile cyber-attacks, he said.

Check Point’s 2021 Mobile Security report is based on data collected from January 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020, across 1,800 organisations using its mobile threat defence solution, Harmony Mobile.

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