India witnessed an increase of 156 % in social media scams with every sixth scam globally impacting an Indian, security software firm Symantec has said.
According to Symantec’s Internet Security Threat Report, India was the most targetted country in Asia and second in the world.
“A whopping 94 per cent of these scams were spread through manual sharing, proving India’s burgeoning social media population remains a favoured target of scammers,” Symantec Director Solution Product Management Asia Pacific and Japan (APJ) Tarun Kaura told PTI.
Scammers are using social media to leverage the trust people have in their own social circles to spread scams, fake links and phishing, he added.
According to the report, India ranked third globally (3.4%) and second in the APJ region as source of overall malicious activity, after China (23.7%) and the US (18.9 %).
“India was once considered the spam capital of the world, India has seen a steady decrease in the amount of spams originating from its borders. After ranking 6th in 2014, India now ranks 18th as a source of spam,” he said.
However, it continues to rank as the third top source of overall malicious activity including spam, malware, phishing hosts and bots, etc.
Year 2015 also saw Indian organisations becoming the sixth most targeted in the APJ region as targeted firms received an average of two attacks.
Public utilities and financial sector organisations, that were targeted once, were most likely to be targeted again at least two times more throughout the year.
Mining was the highest risk prone sector, where one out of two companies was attacked at least once last year, the report said.
Also, 40% of BFSI businesses were also attacked at least once, it added.
“Advanced criminal attack groups now have the skill sets of nation-state attackers. They have extensive resources and a highly-skilled technical staff that operates with such efficiency that they maintain normal business hours and even take the weekends and holidays off,” Kaura said.
He added even low-level criminal attackers are expanding operations to increase the impact of their scams.