Cyberattacks on government agencies is a regular news and these attacks are often carried out at the behest of a state to steal sensitive information or cripple the critical infrastructure of other countries with which they are not on good terms.
As per CloudSek, India, US, Indonesia, and China accounted for 45% of total cyberattacks on government agencies worldwide in the second half of 2022 and the number of attacks on government agencies were up 95% year-on-year.
India was the most targeted country in 2022 with attacks on government agencies more than doubled. As India's digital prowess is expected to grow in 2023 driven by 5G technology, startups, semiconductors, electronics and computing, we can expect more disruptive events like it.
In 2022, hacktivism accounted for 9% of the cyberattacks on the government sector. Hacktivism is a form of cyberattack where the hacker’s motivation is not financial gains but to promote a political agenda or protest against certain policies. Last year, attacks on China also increased due to its aggressive stance towards Taiwan and the Uyghur community.
Attacks on government agencies in China declined to 4.5% of all attacks from 13.10% last year. On the other hand, in India, US, and Indonesia, the share of all attacks grew from 6.3% to 13.7%, 7.4% to 9.6%, and 4.6% to 9.3%, respectively,
In addition to hacktivism, government agencies in India are also increasingly being targeted by phishing campaigns. As per CloudSek, ransomware groups were very active and accounted for 6% of the attacks on governments. LockBIT, which provides ransomware-as-a-service, was the most prominent ransomware operator. Its targets this year include government agencies in the US, Canada, and Italy. In November, a Russian national was arrested in Canada for alleged involvement in LockBIT ransomware campaigns in the US.
Cyberattacks on government agencies are not new. Many of these attacks are state sponsored and are aimed at stealing sensitive information or cripple critical infrastructure of other countries. Indian entities are often targeted by hacker groups with links to China. Similarly, many of the attacks on US agencies often originate from Russia or North Korea.
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