Cyber attacks: India is fifth most targeted nation, says Microsoft report

Hyderabad: From being the country with the second highest number of cyber attacks in 2022, India is now in fifth position, with Europe, accounting for 14 per cent of attacks, climbing to the second highest position. With a steady increase, the United States is on the top of the ladder in terms of different forms of cyber attacks, reveals the Microsoft Digital Defence Report 2023.

US entities, the primary targets of Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attacks, bear the brunt and account for 54 per cent of all attacks. A DDoS attack overwhelms the targeted devices, services and network with fake internet traffic, making them inaccessible or useless for genuine users.

According to the report, India, which reported around 25 per cent of the attacks last year, has reported less than five per cent this year. It remains in the third position in terms of threat actors’ priority in the Asia-Pacific region, followed by Korea and Taiwan. Ukraine is the top European target, driven by Russian state actors’ invasion-related operations. Israel is by far the most-targeted country in the Middle East and North Africa region as a result of Iran’s extensive focus there. North Korean and Chinese state actors drove South Korea and Taiwan to the first and second most targeted nations in Asia-Pacific.

The report also found that North Korea is particularly interested in spying on institutions and individuals that study North Korea itself, and to target national defence industries of various countries. While India accounts for seven per cent of these attacks, Russia is on top, followed together by the USA and Israel.

India is also among the ten Asia-Pacific nations that have revitalised their focus on regulation of critical infrastructure.

Surprisingly, North Korea provides material support to Russia’s war in Ukraine in exchange for food, its cyber actors are targeting Russian nuclear energy, defence industry and government entities, for intelligence collection.

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