The number of cyber attacks targeting the Indian government sector increased by a whopping 95 per cent in the second half of 2022 compared to the same period last year, a report showed on Friday.
The attacks on the Indian government intensified to the point where it became the country that was most frequently targeted in this sector in 2022.
This expansion is the result of the hacktivist group Dragon Force Malaysia's #OpIndia and #OpsPatuk campaigns, according to cyber-security firm CloudSEK.
Numerous hacktivist groups joined and supported these campaigns, which laid the path for subsequent ones. However, this increase has other causes besides the growing hacktivism.
"Government agencies in India have become popular targets for extensive phishing campaigns," the CloudSEK report mentioned.
The primary motive of most of the threat actors is exfiltrating data and selling it for monetary benefits, yet it is not the only reason they target governments.
This change is clearly evident from the emergence of various APT groups and hacktivist campaigns over the last decade.
Ransomware groups were also very active in this industry, accounting for 6 per cent of the total incidents reported, with LockBIT as the most prominent ransomware operator.
India's premier healthcare institute AIIMS suffered a massive ransomware attack which cripped its network for several days.
Also, data of around three crore travellers registered with the Indian Railways has been hacked and reportedly put on sale on the Dark Web, as per reports.
The Railways later denied the claims of a suspected data breach from servers of the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC).
The Twitter handle of the Ministry of Jal Shakti (Water Resources) was also hacked twice in December, promoting fake cryptocurrency giveaway scam.
According to the report, India, the US, Indonesia and China continued to be the most targeted countries in the past two years.
Together, these four countries accounted for 40 per cent of the total reported cyber attack incidents in the government sector.