A new study by NordVPN reveals that hackers have stolen and sold the digital data of over five million people around the globe including 6 lakh Indians.
By Divya Bhati: Sensitive data of at least five million people around the globe, including data of 6 lakh Indians, has been hacked and sold on the bot market. It is reported that nearly 12 per cent of all the data that is sold in the bot markets so far belongs to Indian users, making it one of the worst affected countries by cyber identity theft.
A recent study by NordVPN revealed that data of 6,00,000 Indians including logins, cookies, digital fingerprints, screenshots, and other information were stolen and sold in the bot market. Hackers are said to have sold the digital identity of one person in packets at an average price of $5.95, which comes to around Rs 490.
For the study, folks at NordVPN tracked the digital data from the past four years, ever since the bot markets were launched in 2018. What is the bot market? In simple words, it is the online marketplaces where hackers sell stolen data. The victims are targeted and their digital identity and information are hacked using bot malware.
The report rings the alarm for India, as the country is already dealing with severe cyber security issues. Recently, multiple servers of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) were down due to multiple ransomware attacks that went on for days. It is reported that hackers compromised the personal information of millions of patients in the ransomware attack.
How hackers steal digital data information
Hackers use malware to steal victims’ private confidential information with the aim of monetizing and selling it through direct use or underground distribution. To hack the data, malware is deployed on the victim’s computers to access data directly from the device. This malware can be spyware, remote administration malware, and brute-force passwords.
Hackers exploit this malware on victims’ devices via infected websites, sending malicious attachments or links via email. Keyloggers, screen scrapers, spyware, adware, backdoors, and bots are some other vulnerabilities that are used to access victims’ information.
How to prevent your device from malware
To safeguard your sensitive data and prevent your device from any malware attack in the future, here are some tips you can follow:
- Keep your computer and software updated as companies like Apple and Microsoft frequently release new updates.
- Use a non-administrator account whenever possible. This will prevent you from installing unnecessary apps.
- Always download data from trusted sources and never click on suspicious links.
- Always scan emails and never download or open any if you suspect them or receive them from an unknown person.
- Never click on pop-up windows that ask you to download software.
- Always use antivirus software and scan your system frequently.