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Exponential growth in number of cyber incidents reported to CERT-In during pandemic: MEITY

cybersecurity, cyber attack, website security, vpn

Number of cyber incidents reported to CERT-In between the first and second quarter of 2020 more than doubled during the COVID-19 pandemic, numbers revealed by IT Minister of State Sanjay Dhotre in Lok Sabha show. They have shown a similar, exponential trend in the third quarter thus far. Number of cybersecurity incidents reported to CERT-In in 2020: January-March: 113,334 April-June: 230,223 July-August: 353,381 This was disclosed in a response to BJP MP Vishnu Dayal Sharma (Palamu, Jharkhand). In response to COVID-19, CERT-In has: Conducted 3 cyber exercises that saw participation from 72 organisations Issued 23 advisories Dhotre disclosed this in a written response to YSRCP MP Talari Rangaiah (Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh). He did not disclose any statistics about “the number of citizens who are vulnerable to cyber crimes amid Coronavirus pandemic [sic]”. Dhotre also said that the National Cyber Security Strategy is “under finalisation”. On September 18, India’s National Cyber Security Coordinator, Lt Gen. (Dr) Rajesh Pant had said that the Strategy is ready and is just awaiting cabinet approval. He hopes that the Strategy will be released next month. Cybersecurity has emerged as a major issue during the pandemic. At a virtual event on September 18, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval had said that advanced persistent threat (APT) groups had become more active in targeting India’s critical infrastructures during the pandemic. He had also said that phishing campaigns that targeted government, defence and critical infrastructure using COVID-19 related themes had also surged. Similarly, because of successive lockdowns, “audits and…

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