Norton 2013 report shows attacks are more sophisticated and average cost per crime is up

India retains its place among the world’s top five countries for the highest number of cybercrimes, a report by digital security firm Symantec revealed on Tuesday.

Of these, no less than 56 per cent of cybercrime victims over the past year have experienced online bullying, hate speech and forms of harassment, the survey, titled Norton 2013, stated.

Cybercrime in general is on the rise, with a whopping 63 percent of smartphone users in India facing some form of cyber crime. According to Symantec’s computations, the average cost per cybercrime victim is up by $ 15 over last year’s $ 192.

Among the more technologically sophisticated crimes reported are those resulting out of attacks classified under ransomware (malcode that demands a ransom from the user to remove access restriction to vital programmes and applications) and spear-phishing. India is being called the “ransomware capital” of Asia Pacific with 11 per cent of victims of virtual extortion in the region being traced to the country.

Interestingly, a statement from Ritesh Chopra, country manager, Norton by Symantec, states that there is a “significant drop from last year in the total number of victims and total cost of cybercrime”, though no specific numbers were provided on this.


The survey, based on self-reported experiences of adults across 24 countries, finds that people routinely log on to the network through a public or unsecure wi-fi; and no less than 42 per cent of them use unsecured networks to access bank accounts and 44 per cent shop online. Worse, 18 per cent social network users in India share their password with others and 21 per cent don’t log out of sessions.

The reason? Unlike most surveys that have blamed this on the lack of awareness, Norton’s report had a majority of consumers admitting that the convenience of being connected easily and on the move prompted them to give vital security procedures a miss. They are also very aware that there isn’t any privacy online — 57 per cent surveyed said so.

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