GS Paper - 3 Cyber Security

Attacks on Indian cyber assets grew 207% in 2020 with New Delhi ranking fifth among the most attacked cities in the world, as per the latest findings from Subex, an NSE-listed digital service provider for telcos. According to the company, the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 was the time that cyber attacks went mainstream, and they continue to persist till date.


  1. Subex, said, “2020 was also the year that saw a significant rise in inbound cyber attacks from North Korea and malware that can be linked to one of the clusters geotagged in North Korea’s approximate geographical vicinity.”
  2. Washington DC, London, New York and Singapore were the top four cities drawing the most cyber attacks. China tops the list of origin countries of the attacks globally, followed by North Korea, Iran, Russia and Ukraine.
  3. India witnessed a 91% increase in attacks on manufacturing plants, with vaccine production extensively targeted. Hackers were targeting disruption and pilferage of IP data and information on production capacities.
  4. The reconnaissance patterns and actual attacks that followed were aligned to the news on vaccine production that was coming out of the country.
  5. According to the findings, hackers seem to be interested in learning about India’s vaccine manufacturing capabilities and manufacturing plants associated with the vaccines. This seems to be part of an overall effort to study, monitor, and attack the manufacturing sector in the country.
  6. There has been a 610% increase in the volume of regional data on the dark web. In terms of the data that has appeared on the dark web, there is enough information to indicate that there has been a huge rise in successful cyber attacks on various sectors, including retail, that involve huge volumes of customer information.