New Delhi, Apr 4 (PTI) India ranked third in the list of countries where the highest number of cyber threats were detected, and second in terms of targeted attacks in 2017, according to security software firm Symantec.

“India is ranked third among list of countries globally where most of the threats were detected and it is second in terms of targeted attacks,” Tarun Kaura, Director, Enterprise Security Product Management, Asia Pacific and Japan, Symantec said.

The United States led the pack, followed by China at the second spot, according to the company’s Internet security threat report (ISTR).

India was ranked second globally when it comes to spam and phishing (misleading emails, weblink etc). However, complex cyber attacks — ransomware and network attacks in India increased in terms of global percentage.

“India ranks fourth globally with eight per cent of global detections of ransomware (a malicious software which locks computer and demands money to unlock it),” the report said.

Symmantec detected 133 targeted attacks in India which are the work of organised groups.

“The majority of these groups are state sponsored (although there is a small number of private operators) and they’re usually driven by a small number of motivations: intelligence gathering, disruption, sabotage, or financial. Broadly speaking targeted attacks corresponds to espionage, although the lines are starting to blur,” the ISTR report said.

Kaura said that India is one of victims of targeted attack because a lot of intellectual property rights are generated here and the criminals may intent to steal them.

With the rise in value of crypto-currencies, a new cyber attack from cryptominers was detected in the country where criminals stole computer processing power usage from consumers and enterprises to mine digital currencies.

The immediate impact of this attack could lead to slowing down of devices, overheating batteries and in some cases, rendering devices unusable but there are broader implications particularly for organisations.

“Detections of coinminers on endpoint computers increased by 8,500 percent in 2017. India ranks second in Asia-Pacific Japan (APJ) region, ninth globally in terms of crypto mining activities,” the report said.

India was also ranked second after the US where the highest number of malwares for mobile phones were detected the by company.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.