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Indian Cities Increasingly Susceptible to Bots

'Botnets', or armies of compromised computers, infected with malicious software designed to capture confidential information or to send out spam mails is a severe threat haunting computers and its users in India. During January-June 2007, India had 374 new bot-infected PCs in a single day. The nation is now the center for over 40 control and command servers with as many as 38,465 computers converted to bots, according to Symantec's new Internet Security Threat Report.

The term 'Internet bots', which has been derived from the term 'web robots', refers to software programs that perform automated tasks online. These tasks are carried out for both business and malicious purposes. According to experts, some advanced bots even encrypt channels for the purpose of communication. Control on such bots is often through traffic on the web so that it is difficult to spot and block their activities.

The report further says that the country's SMBs (Small and Medium Businesses) face higher risk due to their vulnerability to spam, phishing, bot and malware attacks. This vulnerability is relatively more in smaller towns and cities where awareness for such threats is low.

In addition to the metro cities, with the rise in IT (Information Technology) and ITeS (Information Technology-enabled Service) organizations in the Tier-II cities, they too are at risk of the bot threat. Some cities in the list of the top ten cities with most bot infection are Noida, Bhopal, Hyderabad, Surat and Pune.

Symantec's data also reveals that Mumbai occupies the first place in that list with 33% of incidences. New Delhi follows next with 25% of incidences, Chennai accounts for 17% and Bangalore 13%. Tier-II cities are also susceptible to bots with Bhopal suffering 4% of the incidences and Noida, Surat, Hyderabad and Pune 1% each.

According to Symantec's Managing Director, Vishal Dhupar, with the continuous growth of cyber threats in India, where there are over 30 Million Web surfers in the Tier I and II cities, it is now more important than ever before to remain informed and vigilant about the newly developing threats. Business Standard reported this in early November 2007.

Related article: Indian Financial Industry Facing Rising Online Fraud

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