India worst hit by bot malware: 6 lakh Indians data sold for Rs 490

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As the penetration of smartphone and internet has increased over the years, so has the number of hacking activities around the world. Hackers and cybercriminals are constantly coming up with new methods to steal internet users’ personal and financial data. At least 5 million people’s online identities have been stolen and sold on bot markets, according to NordVPN. Surprisingly, 600,000 of these were Indians. The average price for the digital identity of an Indian on bot market was Rs 490 ($5.95).

India emerged as the most affected country in the world, accounting for 12% of all data sold on bot markets. The data or should say digital identity sold in packets included logins, cookies, digital fingerprints, screenshots, and other sensitive information.

Bot markets are online marketplaces where hackers sell stolen data from their victims’ devices infected with bot malware.

Facebook, Google, Microsoft logins were stolen

NordVPN also revealed that at least 26.6 million stolen logins were found on the analysed markets. They included 720,000 Google logins, 654,000 Microsoft logins, and 647,000 Facebook logins.

This is despite the fact that both, Google and Apple, have actively been cracking down malicious apps from their app stores to safeguard the users’ personal data.

In addition, researchers discovered about 667 million cookies, 81 thousand digital fingerprints, 538 thousand auto-fill forms, numerous device screenshots, and webcam snaps.

“Digital bots are becoming increasingly common. They operate in fields such as customer service, search engine optimisation and entertainment. Yet not all bots may serve good intentions — many of them can be malicious,” said security researchers.

RedLine, Vidar, Racoon, Taurus, and AZORult are the top five most common types of malware. Hackers inject these malware into the users’ devices (smartphones or desktop/laptops) to steal their sensitive information.

India has been dealing with cybersecurity issues for the last few years. Last month, multiple servers at AIIMS (All India Institute of Medical Sciences) were found to be infected with ransomware. A week after this, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) experienced around 6,000 hacking attempts in a span of 24 hours.

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