A research by cybersecurity firm CloudSek, published on Friday, claims that in the second half of 2022, assaults on government institutions globally were concentrated in only four countries: India, the United States, Indonesia, and China. According to the data, the total number of attacks on government institutions rose by 95% over the previous year.
By 2022, attacks on Indian government institutions had more than doubled, making that country the primary target. According to CloudSek, this was caused by an uptick in hacktivist activity from the Malaysia-based group Dragon Force in response to the offensive remarks made by an Indian politician about the Prophet Mohammed. Dragon Force launched campaigns like #OpIndia & #OpsPatuk against India.
Meanwhile, the hacker collective Khalifah Cyber Crew stepped up its attacks on India in a show of defiance against what it called the country’s “Muslim prejudice.” “the government, according to the article.
The term “hacktivism” refers to a type of cyberattack in which the hacker’s goal is not financial gain but rather to advance a political cause or as a form of protest. The hostile policies of the Chinese government towards Taiwan as well as the Uyghur population led to a rise in attacks against China in the previous year.
The percentage of total attacks on Chinese government institutions dropped from 13.10% in 2016 to 4.55% in 2017. But at the other hand, the percentage of total attacks increased from 6.3 percent to 13.7 percent in India, 7.4 percent to 9.6 percent in the United States, and 4.6 percent to 9.6 percent in Indonesia.
Nine percent of all cyberattacks on the government sector’s computer systems in 2022 were motivated by hacktivism.
The research states that phishing campaigns, as well as hacktivism, are on the rise against Indian government institutions.
According to CloudSek’s research, ransomware gangs are quite active and are responsible for 6% of attacks against governments. The most well-known ransomware company is LockBIT, which offers ransomware as a service (RaaS). Among its targets this year are branches of the American, Canadian, and Italian governments. It was reported in November that a Russian individual was arrested in Canada on suspicion of involvement in LockBIT ransomware operations in the United States.
All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS), India’s premier government-run hospital, was also the target of a cyberattack last month, which disrupted internet services for more than two weeks.
An investigation by India’s primary cybersecurity organization, Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In), revealed that over 1.3 gigabytes of data was encrypted by hackers, with five servers at AIIMS being infiltrated.
There has been a rise in the frequency of attacks that are backed by the government, but the exact number is unknown because most of these strikes go undetected. For the most part, this expansion can be traced back to the introduction of RaaS models “To paraphrase what CloudSek had to say.
As revenge for its invasion of Ukraine, attacks on Russia soared by 600% in 2022, placing it in the sixth position of countries under attack.
Instances of cybercrime against government institutions have been around for some time. Many of these assaults have governmental sponsorship and are designed to steal confidential data or disrupt vital systems in other countries. Organizations based in India are a common target for Chinese hacking groups. The same is true for the majority of cyber attacks on US government institutions, the majority of which come either from Russia or North Korea.