India Ranks Fourth Globally in Ransomware Attacks

India is facing a major issue as ransomware attacks continue to rise in the country as it ranks fourth in the country and the world.

According to a report from The Financial Express, in 2016, the average ransom demand for e-kidnapping of data more than doubled.

In 2015, it was Rs 19,670 and in 2016 it had jumped to Rs 45,428, in addition to using digital currency such as bitcoin, to regain access to data.  Research from Norton, a cybersecurity firm, found that victims are often targeted by ransomware with 57 percent of infections taking place between January 2015 and April 2016.

In the same time period, the U.S. was ranked first, followed by Canada and Australia as the countries most targeted by ransomware attacks.

Hackers Target India

Last year, three banks and a pharmaceutical company in India were targeted by extortionists.

According to reports, all four were infected by a fake email that contained malware disguised as correspondence from senior management. Once the email had been opened it spread to other company computers and the networks.

Speaking to the Financial Times, KCS Raghuvir, assistant commissioner of police at Cybercrime police station, Hyderabad said:

We are seeing a gradual increase in the number of ransomware cases being reported in Hyderabad. This is nothing, but a form of digital extortion where ransom is demanded from public to unlock their computers and files.

Ransomware: A Continued Threat

Criminals are using ransomware to extract money from victims as they realize that it is far simpler than digging through computers to steal an individual’s money online.


According to the FBI, though, those targeted should avoid paying the ransom to extortionists as it simply encourages the hackers to continue targeting people for monetary gain.

Previously, the FBI revealed that ransomware costs amounted to $209 million in the first three months of 2016 compared to $24 million for the whole of 2015.

Unfortunately, with ransomware continuing to be profitable to hackers, the threat of cyberattacks are not going to go away anytime soon.

Marcin Kleczynski, CEO of Malwarebytes, said to the Business Insider, that in the last six to 12 months, companies from 25 to 25,000 people were targeted by ransomware. As a result, banks are reported to hold bitcoins just in case they are targeted by cyberattacks.

No one, it seems, has any immunity against the threat that ransomware poses.

Featured image from iStock/Mojito_Mak and Shutterstock.