Data of at least 6 lakh (600,000) Indians have been stolen and sold on bot marketplaces, cyber-security experts disclosed on Thursday, Dec. 8.

The average price for the digital identity information of an individual is roughly ₹490 ($6).

Cyber Security Report

A recent study by cybersecurity firm NordVPN found that India was the worst-hit nation, accounting for 12% of all data on bots marketplaces, as first reported by Business Insider India.

When hackers employ bot malware to steal information from victims’ devices, they often sell it on “bot markets,” which are online marketplaces.

News18 said that these bot markets stand out from others on the dark web because they provide access to massive quantities of personal information on a single user.

After selling the bot, criminals provide the purchaser with a guarantee that the victim’s information will continue to be updated, given that the malware still afflicts the device.

Information such as a user’s login credentials, cookies, digital fingerprints, screenshots, and more are all part of the package that may be purchased for a price.

The report indicates that hackers are an increasing danger, affecting 5 million individuals worldwide and offering digital identities illegally.

“At least five million people have had their online identities stolen and sold on bot markets for Rs 490 on average. Out of all the affected people, 600,000 are from India, making the country the most affected by this threat in the world,” said the report.

Stolen Data

An estimated 26.6 million compromised credentials were discovered on the investigated marketplaces. These include 720,000 Google accounts, 654,000 Microsoft accounts, and 647,000 Facebook accounts.

There were also several device screenshots and camera snaps. These are in addition to the 667 million cookies, 81,000 digital fingerprints, and 538,000 auto-fill forms discovered by the researchers.

Security experts acknowledge that the prevalence of digital bots is growing, according to Business Insider India.

Reportedly, they may be found working in sectors such as search engine optimization (SEO) and even the entertainment industry. However, not all bots have benevolent purposes, as many are designed to harm, too.

RedLine, Vidar, Racoon, Taurus, and AZORult are only some of the most common forms of malware used for stealing and collecting data. Among these, RedLine is by far the most widespread.

Nation’s Cyber Threats

As India digitizes, cybersecurity experts have been flagging these concerns for years.

Based on News18’s report, two previous significant cyberattacks in India have sparked national security worries. Cyberattacks sabotaged Delhi’s All India Institute Of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) internet services on Nov. 23.

On Nov. 30, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) website was hacked 6,000 times within 24 hours.

Many analysts noted that the country’s essential infrastructures, including healthcare, banking, and finance, are under major cyber threat.

All stakeholders across business ecosystems agree on the necessity to protect data, says eSec Forte Technologies’ Kunal Bajaj. This understanding will help individuals and organizations stay attentive to increasingly high-tech and sophisticated cyberattacks.

Cyber specialists are likely to develop unique methods to defend systems against data breaches and hacking in 2023, and beyond, Bajaj told News18.

cyberattack, cybersecurity, bot malware

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