The city has the second-highest web addiction in the country according to the recent study by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry. Also, it is on the top of the list of centres in the country being targeted by cyber attackers.
According to Symantec Corporation's Internet Security Threat Report (ISTR) Vol 18 released recently, Chandigarh is placed at 6th position among the top bot-infected cities in India, up one position from 7th a year ago.
This is indeed alarming as cyber attackers are not only targeting computer users but mobile device users too. The focus on exploiting mobile devices will only grow with the increasing dependence on mobile devices for everything from simple email to critical apps and even mobile payments.
"Cyber attacks today are carried out to make money, and attackers have the most potential to gain from targeting users who are new to the internet, in locations that have a growing broadband population.
Chandigarh - apart from major cities in Punjab and Haryana - is ranked among the most technology-savvy emerging cities in India", says Anand Naik, managing director-Sales, India & SAARC, Symantec.
While Chandigarh remains top bot-infected city, India is ranked first for spam zombies with 17 percent of spam zombies located in the country. Evidently the country is responsible for disseminating into cyberspace an estimated 280 million spam messages per day.
The company's (Symantec) recent mobility surveys reveal that 68 percent Indians are addicted to their mobile devices and 72 percent of Indian businesses faced mobility incidents due to malware infections, spam incidents, exposures of information, breach of information due to lost/stolen devices and phishing/social engineering instances.
Last year, mobile malware increased by 58 percent, and 50 percent of mobile malware created in 2012 attempted to steal information or track movements. Whether cybercriminals are attacking computers, mobile phones or social networks, their ultimate goal is to obtain personal information including banking details, phone numbers and email addresses of friends and business associates, and even steal the target's identity.
Myth: Viruses and other malicious software ("malware") only affect computers.
I can't get a virus or be attacked on popular social networking sites.
My computer won't get infected since I don't visit risky sites.
Reality: Mobile malware families, which affect smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices, increased by 58 percent last year.
Many well-known social networks, including several of the newest ones, are prime targets for scammers, with 56 percent of social media attacks involving fake gift cards and survey scams.
More than half of the malicious sites are actually legitimate websites that have been compromised and infected with malicious code. Business, technology and shopping websites were among the top five sites of sites hosting infections.
This malware can steal information such as phone numbers and email addresses (32 percent of the time), or use the phone's GPS to track the use (19 percent of the time).
Always follow security best practices such as using complex and unique passwords for each site and sticking to trusted websites, no matter which type of device you are using.
Never click on links or open attachments from people you don't know. Also, if you receive a strange message from a friend, take a moment to verify it-it is possible their e-mail or social networking account was hacked.
Make sure you protect all your devices with a comprehensive security solution, like Norton 360 Multi-Device.
What is Bot?
Bot-infected computers, or bots, are programs that are secretly installed on a user's machine in order to allow an attacker to control the targeted system remotely.
Bot infected computer activities can be classified as actively attacking bots or bots that send out spam such as spam zombies. Spam zombies are remotely controlled, compromised systems specifically designed to send out large volumes of junk or unsolicited email messages.