After Jio, India's unicorn startups are the top target for Chinese hackers trying to get their hands on Indian users' data
Chinese hackersare increasingly targeting Indian unicorn startupslike Swiggy, Paytm, Ola and Byju’s to steal sensitive information.
- The motivation is no longer to cause harm to their reputation but to get away with as much user insight as possible without causing too much noise.
- “They are hunting those companies because they have a lot of data,” Kumar Ritesh, the CEO of Singapore-based cybersecurity firm Cyfirma told Business Insider in an interview.
AdvertisementHackers usually follow the money but now they have now set their sights on a new pot of gold at the end of the rainbow — data. And, their newest targets are unicorn startups in India.
The geopolitical tensions between India and China have led to a surge in cybercriminals trying to infiltrate companies like Swiggy, Paytm, Ola, Byju’s and OYO among others.
Singapore-based cybersecurity company Cyfirma has a new platform called DeCYFIR which can spot threats before an attack occurs by analysing conversations across the dark web and hacker forums. Traditionally, cybercriminals have honed in on telecom companies. Jio, in particular, is a crowd favourite.
Right now, the names of
Data hungry hackers
Cyberattacks on Indian firms by state-sponsored Chinese hackers were primarily driven by the idea of causing damage to the company’s reputation. However, over the last three months, it’s no longer about creating noise. Instead, it’s about getting behind the defensive walls of companies in order to exfiltrate personal, sensitive, and financial information.
“A lot of young companies that started five to ten years ago and have grown to become unicorns — who do a lot of customer services, who collect personal information and financial information, and are supplying you with food, education or other things — and they [cybercriminals] are hunting those companies because they have a lot of data,” Kumar Ritesh, the CEO of Singapore-based cybersecurity firm Cyfirma told Business Insider in an interview.
Unicorn startups, in particular, are powerhouses of data and intellectual property. Getting access to that data has a wider impact than just taking down their website.
Ritesh cited the example of Chinese hackers stealing data from a popular Japanese cosmetics company. They were able to get away with the IP of the company's signature face cream. The cream soon resurfaced under a Chinese brand name — made using the same formula — undercutting the price of the Japanese company by 30%.
The uncertainty around Huawei, the ban on Chinese apps in the Indian market along with the investment restrictions are pushing China out of the loop when it comes to data from Indian users. Ritesh believes that the uptake in attacks is not temporary and won’t die down after the coronavirus pandemic. New players are entering the field of cyber warfare, and the digital world is all set to get more combative.
Walls can be power banks for houses as red bricks turn into energy-storing batteries
IT and media employees are in no hurry to get back to office — not until there are proper policies in place
HAL's share price jumps 4% after India approves defence projects worth $1.2 billion
Popular on BI
- Elizabeth Holmes ordered dinners for Theranos staff but made sure they weren't delivered until after 8 p.m. so they worked late: book
- The CEO of software giant Intuit, which has avoided mass layoffs, says tech firms axed jobs because they misread the pandemic
- I flew cross-country with my 5-month-old son on my lap. Next time, I'm paying full price for him to have his own seat.
- Major train accidents that India witnessed in last 15 years
- Odisha rail crash: Rescuers try to raise buried coach, death toll at 238
- Largest road networks in the world – India beats China to take the second spot
- Manoj Bajpayee joins the league of on-screen lawyers like Pankaj Tripathi, Shriya Pilgaonkar & more
- List of famous things to buy in Lonavala