Increased traffic on the online universe, hackers take charge

Thousands of people in India are working from their homes using the online space. Employees and students are working from homes through video calls, phone calls or live editing documents which has led to traffic jams in the online universe. 

Prior to the lockdown, the people spent more of their time surfing websites or watching content on some of the biggest entertainment applications like Netflix, amazon prime or youtube. Now, the traffic to these places has increased substantially. Disney+Hotstar hit 50 million subscribers in the lockdown. 

People are willing to pay as much as they can to shove off their isolation and boredom to stay entertained. About 12 million people have subscribed to new online services out of which 3 million people had not signed up before. On the onset of the lockdown, people spent approximately 45 hours a week online, which was increased by 31%. People have got rid of the traffic jams on roads but have not fallen prey to traffic jams in online space.

                                                           Photo credits- indystar

On one side, the lockdown has rendered people unemployed and several businesses are facing huge losses. Services on online platforms have flourished. Such as the video conferencing sites have been used by people as never before. The share prices of these companies have increased and so is the demand. 

Due to the long stretched lockdown, the schools and colleges could not afford to be closed for a long time. As a result, they resorted to conducting classes on online platforms like google meet, zoom, Microsoft teams and so on. 

Along with the digital entertainment platform, people have also switched to online video games and sports. One more industry which benefited from the lockdown was the grocery delivery applications. Owing to the Standard Operating Procedures for the COVID-19, it was unsafe for people to go out shopping for groceries and other food items. Some of these businesses namely Grofers is even ready to launch its first IPO by the end of the year. They started competing with other applications such as Bigbasket, Jiomart, Amazon etc.

                                    Photo credits- moneyconnexion

‘The lockdown allowed us to not worry about marketing and we were getting more customers each day than we can serve’, said co-founder and CEO of Grofers. 

However, one big downside of the increased engagement with the online universe was hacking attacks. There are some people who are completely new to the online world and are more prone to being hacked. The cybersecurity company Darktrace revealed that there has been an increase of 48% of such hacker attacks during the lockdown. 

In mid-April, the cybersecurity company Mimecast exposed about 700 pseudo websites of Hotstar and Netflix that were made to harvest personal details of the consumers. Before the lockdown, only 12% of people fell prey to fraud emails which has now increased to 60%. The British airline, Easyjet admitted a large data breach where details of over 9 million employees were leaked. 

The Indian cybersecurity company, Cloudsek, on 27 March dealt with a hacking attempt on the tax department of the state. The hacker has access to a remote desktop and was selling 800 GB data through a Russian hacker forum. He asserted that the tax department had four computer networks which had sensitive data including Pan cards, GST numbers and phone numbers.

In May, the Darktrace caught a fraud email campaign, that asked the employees of companies that they could choose to be absent if they signed up to a special website. There was another hacked email that was from a CEO of a company asking the employees to donate to his charity. There has been a high volume of such fraud hackers since the lockdown. The cybersecurity companies are expected to take charge of such hackers and expose them.

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