As businesses and individuals moved online, cyber criminals and fraudsters were able to hone in their skills and target a wider range of people and organisations in the wake 0f the COVID-19 pandemic. While the number of cyber attacks on organisations increased in 2020, particularly for banks and payments companies, the number of individuals who have fallen prey to payment frauds through phishing has also increased. According to information given in Parliament by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY) in September, the Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-IN) had reported 696,938 cyber security incidents between January to August 2020 compared to 394,456 incidents in the entirety of 2019. In fact, India experiences 375 cyber attacks on a daily basis as per Lt. Gen. (retd.) Rajesh Pant, National Cyber Security Coordinator, according to a PTI report. At first, cyber criminals were able to exploit the fear and panic that ensued in the wake of the nationwide lockdowns by targeting consumers with offers on medical equipment and pharmaceuticals. Later, as the government began to open its coffers to provide relief funds to citizens and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) introduced a loan moratorium, fraudsters were able to tap into these themes in order to exploit unsuspecting customers. They also targeted the PM CARES COVID-19 relief fund by creating fake Unified Payments Interface (UPI) handles. Major cyber security incidents in 2020 While fraudsters use phishing and social engineering tactics to dupe customers into sending money to them by posing as legitimate…
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