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Despite 62% drop in data breaches, India among top 5 nations targeted by hackers, study finds

Russia makes up almost a fifth of all global victims with the conflict with Ukraine exacerbating hacking attempts this quarter.

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New Delhi: Data breaches of Indian users may have fallen 62 per cent this quarter than the last, but the country still remains among the top five target nations for hackers, a study has found.

The study by Netherlands-based Virtual Private Network (VPN) provider Surfshark revealed that 6,75,000 Indian users were breached this quarter while 1.77 million users’ data was hacked in Q4 2021.

The survey also found that breaches worldwide had gone down by 58 per cent this quarter. Putting it in numbers, that was 18,174,132 breaches in Q1, 2022 from 43,169,912 in Q4, 2021.

Credit: Surfshark Alert

Russia, US, Poland most breached nations

The study showed that Russians made up almost a fifth of all global victims. This quarter, hacking of Russian users went up by 11 per cent, with the most attempts made in March. More than 3.5 million Russian internet users were targetted, the study found.

The study said the Russian invasion of Ukraine might have “likely influenced” the data leaks as the hacker group Anonymous declared it was targetting the country. Around 136 per cent more Russian accounts were breached in March than in February.

The US is second on the list — but showed a positive downward trend in data breaches for the second quarter in a row. The country had almost 50% fewer affected users this quarter than in the last, when 2.5 million users had been breached.

Poland, which came in the third place, shot up the chart due to a 514 per cent sharp spike in breaches — with 961,000 users breached in the first quarter this year as compared to 159,000 last quarter. The country’s media reported a wave of telephone phishing attacks at the beginning of the year, seeking to lure out credit card details.

The findings of the data were collected for three months, between January to March 2022 (as Q1 2022), while the selected data was then analysed and compared to the data from the previous quarter, from October to December 2021 (as Q4 2021).

Credit: Surfshark Alert

“Data breaches remain one of the most common types of cybercrime, despite the decline it has demonstrated in the past months,” said Aleksandr Valentij, Chief Information Security Officer of Surfshark.

“Pools of leaked emails, passwords, telephone numbers, and even more sensitive data are often sold on the dark web to be later used in phishing attacks, ransomware, or even identity theft,” Valentij added.

Also read: ‘Biggest cyberattack in recent years’ hits Oil India HQ, hackers demand Rs 60 crore in Bitcoin


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