Bhubaneswar emerging as cyber crime hub

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BHUBANESWAR: Emerging cities such as Bhubaneswar, Surat, Cochin, Jaipur, Vishakhapatnam and Indore are increasingly coming under cyber attacks, according to a recent report on internet security threat.

The recent report from Symantec, a software security provider, attributed the threat to lack of awareness and low adoption of security measures by government as well as private sector organizations. The report was prepared on the basis of data collected from the Global Intelligence Network to identify, analyze, and provide commentary on emerging trends in cyber attacks, malicious code activity, phishing and spam.

"Bhubaneswar features among the list of locations in India from where phishing emails originate," the report said. Phishing is the cybercriminal's tactic of stealing confidential information such as bank account, credit card, online account login details, either by tricking the user into revealing this data through a fake email, or including malicious links in unsolicited emails.

Examples of phishing frauds include emails that claim to be from a Nigerian prince who wants to transfer all his wealth to the user. Another example is when one user's email account gets compromised and an email is sent to all his or her contacts indicating that the user is stranded abroad with no money and wants some funds transferred for an emergency.

"Bhubaneswar is emerging as an industrial hub for various sectors with several small and medium enterprises catering to consumers across India. Cyber attackers are targeting these businesses, with the report revealing that 50 per cent of targeted attacks were aimed at SMBs in 2011," the report said.

"Targeted attacks use social engineering and customized malware to gain unauthorized access to sensitive information. These advanced attacks have traditionally focused on public sector and government. However targeted attacks have been diversified," it added.

Last week, the official websites of Utkal University and some other institutes were allegedly hacked. Most of those websites are hosted by All India Online under a dedicated server. "To prevent repetition, we have floated tenders for our dedicated server in the varsity. Steps are being taken to avoid cyber breach," Pratap Rath, a faculty of Utkal University.

City-based information security analyst Amiya Mishra said that almost all government sites, mostly of educational institutes, are susceptible to cyber attack due to poor security measures. "Regular computer security audit is a must to prevent hackers from breaching valuable data through hacking," said Mishra, also an ethical hacker.

"Cyber attack on government organizations is a big concern these days. We are taking maximum precautions to secure our data on computers," said Siddharth Pujari, principal consultant of IT-PMU, a private IT consultancy looking after the e-projects of Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation.

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