300% rise in cyber attacks in India in 2020: Government

Sagar Malik
·2-min read

300% rise in cyber attacks in India in 2020: Government
300% rise in cyber attacks in India in 2020: Government

23 Mar 2021: 300% rise in cyber attacks in India in 2020: Government

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, cyber attacks across the country rose by as much as 300% last year to reach a total of 11,58,208 as compared to 3,94,499 in 2019, the Union Home Ministry informed the Parliament on Tuesday.

The government cited the said data from the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In).

Here are more details on this.

Details: Surge linked to increase in online activity, say experts

However, the Ministry has not elaborated on the cyber attacks or the profile of the attackers.

Cyber experts say that the surge could be linked to an increase in online activity last year particularly during the lockdown imposed to contain the spread of the deadly coronavirus.

They have blamed a lack of cyber security awareness for rising phishing and malware attacks.

Statement: G Kishan Reddy briefed the Parliament about the issue

"CERT-In receives inputs from its situational awareness systems and threat intelligence sources about malware infections in networks of entities across sectors," Union Minister of State for Home Affairs G Kishan Reddy told the Parliament today.

"Whenever any incident comes to notice of CERT-In, it issues alerts and advisories to the entities concerned and sectoral CERTs for remedial measures," he added.

Statement: Government issued guidelines to security officers

Reddy said the government has issued guidelines to chief information security officers about their key roles and responsibilities for securing infrastructure and compliance.

"All the government websites and applications are audited with respect to cyber security prior to their hosting," he said.

The Minister was responding to a query on cyber attacks on India's power supply and on a company supplying the COVID-19 vaccines.

Recent news: NHAI, automakers were recently asked to tighten IT security

The announcement has come just days after the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways alerted the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) and its other wings as well as car makers to enhance their IT security systems citing reports about possible cyber attacks targeted at the Indian transport sector.

Last June too, the NHAI had reported a cyber attack on its email server.

Other details: Report said Chinese cyber campaign targeted India's power grid

On a related note, a report by a US-based firm has suggested that a Chinese cyber campaign had targeted India's power grid, resulting in a power blackout in Mumbai last October.

The Ministry of Power had confirmed that it was aware of the Chinese cyber campaign to affect India's power network. It, however, said there was no breach of data due to the incident.