Biggest Cyber Breaches in India

We live in the digital era. Now, almost everything is possible online as every other organization is going digital to grow its business. However, with digital well-being comes the threat of a cyber breach. As per a report, India ranks third globally in terms of cyber breaches with 86 million cyber breaches in 2021. Here are some of the biggest cyber breaches that took place in India between 2019 and 2021.

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SBI Data Breach (January 2019)

A security researcher anonymously revealed that the largest bank in the country State Bank of India did not protect a server with a password. SBI Quick is a free service that provides customers with their recent transactions and account balance information over text messages. Over 3 million text messages were sent to the customers.

JustDial Data Breach (April 2019)

JustDial is a local search service platform that provides you the information related to anything. JustDial has to face a data breach in April 2019. In this data breach, more than 100 million users' data was compromised and it was made publically available. The data includes names, mobile numbers, email IDs, date of birth, gender, and addresses. It was revealed by an independent security researcher on a Facebook post.

Healthcare Records Breach (August 2019)

FireEye is an Enterprise security firm. The firm revealed that hackers have breached and stolen information about 68 lakh patients and doctors from an Indian healthcare website. As per FireEye, the hack was perpetrated in China and the name of this hacking group is Fallensky519. 

The hacker group sold the healthcare records on the dark web and some of the information related to patients and doctors were available for USD 2000.

Unacademy Data Breach (May 2020)

Unacademy is an online education platform. It was founded in 2015 and was backed by investors such as Facebook, Blume Ventures and Sequoia India. The company disclosed that a cyber breach took place that compromised the accounts of 22 million users registered on their website. A cyber security firm called Cyble revealed that data such as usernames, email addresses and passwords were put on the dark web for sale.

Bigbasket For Sale on Dark Web (October 2020)

Big Basket is an online grocery platform. According to the cyber intelligence firm Cyble, BigBasket has been put on sale in an online cybercrime market. Also, a part of a database that includes personal data of almost 20 million users was available at USD 40,000.

Cyble validated the data that was up for sale with BigBasket and reported the breach to BigBasket on November 1. The data included names, PINs, mobile numbers, email IDs, date of birth, IP addresses and locations. 

Juspay for Sale on Dark Web (January 2021)

Juspay is an online platform that was designed to be used for mobile-based payments. Juspay revealed in January 2021, that data included masked card data and card fingerprints of 35 million customers were hacked from a server. The data was hacked using an unrecycled access key. The data was set for sale on dark web for USD 5000 as per cyber security researcher Rajshekhar Rajaharia.

Covid-19 Test Results of Indians (January 2021)

Indian government leaked Covid-19 lab test results of around 1500 Indian patients. The thing to worry about here is that the data was not put on sale on the dark web but made publicly available owing to Google indexing. 

It was first reported by BleepingComputer, the PDF reports were leaked showed up on Google. These PDF files were hosted by Government agencies’ websites that used “gov.in” and “nic.in” domains. Later these agencies ere found to be located in New Delhi.

The leaked data included Names, DOB, test dates and the center they got tested. Also, the structure of the URLs indicated that the CMS system on which the reports were hosted was the same as the government uses for posting documents that are accessible by anyone.

Senior director of OneLogin Niamh Muldoon said that what is being witnessed here is the failure teach employees how to build software and then test and access it also platforms that run and store the information such as patients data.

He further added that the Government must take quick safety measures to decrease the risk of similar data breach from happening and invest in security programs with trusted security platform providers.

Police Exam Applicants Data (Februrary 2021)

Information of over 5,00,000 applicants identifying information related to their personality was put on sale on the forum of database sharing. It was tranced by CloudSEK which is a threat intelligence firm. The data was traced back to an Indian police exam that was conducted on December 22, 2019.

The seller shared the data of over 10,000 candidates with CouldSEK.The data shared included Names, DOB, email IDs, mobile numbers, FIR records along with the criminal history of the candidates. Later on, after the analysis of leaked data, it was revealed that most of the candidates were from Bihar. When the threat-intel firm matched the mobile number with the candidate names, it came out that the hacked data was authentic.

Upstox Reset Passwords (April 2021)

Upstox is an Indian trading platform. In April 2021, the company acknowledged a cyber breach of KYC data. Since KYC data can be used for identity theft by hackers, the data was gathered by financial service companies that confirmed the identity of the customers and to prevent money laundering and fraud.

On April 11, the company told the customer that they will change the passwords and take other safety measures as soon as they got a warning in an email that the contact data and KYC data might have been compromised, which were stored in a third-party warehouse.

Later, the company Upstox apologized to the customers and told them that they have reported this incident to the enhanced securities and boosted their bug bounty program to call out ethical hackers who will test the system.

Domino’s India (April 2021)

Information related to customers over 180 million orders of Domino’s India were put up for sale on the dark web. CTO of cyber intelligence firm Hudson Rock, Alon Gal revealed it. He also said that someone asked for 10 bitcoin which costs Rs 4 crore for 13 terabytes of data that included credit cards records of 1 million people along with the details of 180 million pizza orders. The data included names, email IDs and contact numbers as well.

Alon Gal shared the screenshot that showed the hackers claiming to have details of over 250 employees of Domino’s India along with their outlook mail dating back to the year 2015. Jubilant Foodworks is the parent company of Domino’s India told IANS about the information security incident however denied that their customer’s financial information was also breached as they do not store credit card details.

Air India Cyber Breach (May 2021)

In May 2021, data from Air India airline was breached and over 4.5 million passengers' personal data was compromised. The leaked data was collected between Aug 2011 and Feb 2021. The incident was revealed by the airline data servicer provider SITA. Passengers did not hear about the incident till March. The attack on SITA’s passenger service system not only affected Air India but also airlines such as Lufthansa, Cathay Pacific and Malaysia Airlines.

Importance of Cyber Insurance

When the data of such big companies are not safe then you can understand the importance of a cyber insurance policy. However, it would not bring back the breached data but it can provide financial aid along with assistance in case you get stuck in any legal consequence.

Conclusion

These were some of the biggest cyber attacks that took place in India between 2019 and 2021. Cyber attacks are inevitable hence protecting online data with cyber insurance becomes vital. Make sure that your data is insured so that you do not have to bear the whole burden alone.

Written By: PolicyBazaar - Updated: 18 October 2023
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