Approximately five million people have had their data stolen and sold on the bot market, of which 600,000 are from India, making it the worst-affected country, according to NordVPN, one of the world’s largest VPN service providers.
Hackers use bot markets to sell stolen data from victims’ devices infected with bot malware.
According to NordVPN’s study, the data stolen included user logins, cookies, digital fingerprints, screenshots, and other information, with the average price for a digital identity of a person pegged at 490 Indian rupees ($5.95).
Since bot markets were launched in 2018, NordVPN has tracked data for the past four years.
Cyber security has been a concern for India for some time. On Nov. 23, multiple servers at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), a federal government hospital that caters to ministers, politicians, and the general public, were infected with malware.
On Nov. 30, the Times of India reported that around 6,000 hacking attempts were made against the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) within 24 hours of the AIIMS ransomware attack.
Indian cybersecurity rules were tightened only earlier this year, when the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) required tech companies to report data breaches within six hours and keep IT and communications logs for six months.
According to NordVPN’s study, stolen logins from Google, Microsoft, and Facebook accounts were found in three major bot markets – Genesis, Russian, and 2Easy.
Marijus Briedis, chief technology officer at NordVPN, describes bot markets as being able to gather large amounts of information about one individual in one place.
When the bot is sold, the seller guarantees the buyer that the victim’s information will be updated as long as the device is infected.”
NordVPN researchers found 667 million cookies, 81,000 digital fingerprints, 538,000 auto-fill forms, numerous screenshots, and webcam snaps in their study.
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