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From Ransomware to Data Leaks: 2023 A Year of Cyber Challenges for India’s Digital Infrastructure



From Ransomware to Data Leaks: 2023 A Year of Cyber Challenges for India's Digital Infrastructure

NEW DELHI: India’s digital landscape, while booming with innovation, has become a prime target for cyber threats. 2023 witnessed a surge in cyber security incidents, impacting critical sectors and exposing sensitive data. Here’s a closer look at 10 notable breaches that shook India’s digital space this year:

Healthcare Under Attack:

  1. AIIMS Delhi Breach (August): Hackers infiltrated the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Delhi, jeopardizing patient records, financial information, and sending shockwaves through the healthcare sector. This exposed the vulnerability of critical medical infrastructure to cyberattacks.

  2. Sun Pharma Ransomware (March): Pharmaceutical giant Sun Pharma fell victim to a ransomware attack, impacting operations and raising concerns about the potential disruption of essential healthcare services.

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Data Breaches Galore:

  1. MoChhatua App Leak (May): A government app managing ration distribution in Odisha, MoChhatua, was breached, exposing sensitive user information like names, emails, and passwords. This highlighted the vulnerability of government apps handling crucial data and raised concerns about data privacy in the public sector.

  2. Zivame Breach (June): Popular online lingerie retailer Zivame faced a data breach, exposing names, email addresses, phone numbers, and order details of millions of customers, predominantly women. This raised alarms about data security in e-commerce platforms.

  3. RentoMojo Breach (April): Online furniture rental platform RentoMojo faced a data breach, exposing customer names, email addresses, and phone numbers. While RentoMojo assured no financial information was compromised, the breach raised concerns about data privacy in the rental industry.

Critical Infrastructure Targeted:

6:  Air India: Air India experienced a data breach affecting 4.5 million passengers. The breach compromised personal details like names, passport info, credit card data, and contact details. It targeted SITA, an airline IT services provider handling passenger data for Air India. This incident highlighted cybersecurity vulnerabilities in the aviation industry, emphasizing the need for stronger data protection measures and proactive cybersecurity protocols to safeguard sensitive passenger information.

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7: RailYatri Data Leak, a travel app in India, faced a data leak compromising users’ sensitive information like names, contact details, and partial payment card data. Following this breach, the app was temporarily suspended, and RailYatri faced penalties. The company responded by conducting an investigation, addressing security vulnerabilities, and enhancing its security infrastructure. After implementing necessary measures, the app was reinstated, emphasizing the vital need for robust cybersecurity measures to protect user data.

  1. UPSTRC E-ticketing Hack: Hackers infiltrated the Uttar Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation’s e-ticketing server, demanding ransom and leaving passengers stranded. This attack exposed the vulnerability of critical infrastructure to cyber threats and the need for robust cybersecurity measures.

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Financial Glitches and Exposures:

  1. UCO Bank IMPS Glitch (November): The UCO Bank incident made headlines due to a significant glitch in its Immediate Payment Service (IMPS), a popular digital funds transfer system in India. The bank encountered a technical failure that resulted in an accidental credit of a massive sum, amounting to Rs 649 crore (approximately $87 million), into several accounts. Upon discovering the glitch, UCO Bank promptly initiated an FIR (First Information Report) to address the issue and recover the erroneously transferred funds. The bank acted swiftly to retrieve the excess amounts deposited into multiple accounts due to the technical malfunction in the IMPS system.

  2. Massive Personal Data Leak (October): A staggering data leak exposed personal information of over 800 million Indians, including names, phone numbers, Aadhaar numbers, passport details, and even COVID-19 test results. While the source remains unconfirmed, the potential impact is immense, raising concerns about data protection and the vulnerability of sensitive information in the digital age.

These incidents highlights the evolving cyber threat landscape in India. As the country’s digital footprint expands, so does the need for robust cybersecurity measures, data protection regulations, and increased public awareness. Addressing these challenges head-on is crucial to secure India’s digital future and protect its citizens.

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