In 2022, 4.7 million email accounts got breached in India, according to a report by Swedish VPN services company Surfshark. But, this is a drastic improvement for India over the previous years, with the country going from third position to the seventh position in the list of most cyber-breached countries in the world. While India improved its position on the list, Russia suffered the brunt of the breaches last year.
Surfshark created the report in partnership with independent cybersecurity experts and used user data collected from over 27,000 breached databases that appeared online. The researchers sorted data based on specific data points like user countries. The users’ locations were ascertained using their email or website domain name, country, city, coordinates, IP address, and other data.
According to Agneska Sablovskaja, lead researcher at Surfshark, there was a 68 per cent global decline in account breaches in 2022, with countries like the United States, India and Brazil improving significantly compared to 2021. Meanwhile, Indonesia, China and Russia experienced big surges in data breaches compared to the previous year.
Cyber breaches drop drastically in India, but it still ranks in the top 10
The 4.7 million email accounts in India that were breached in 2022 represent a 94 per cent decrease when compared to the previous year. This is why India moved from 3rd place to 7th place in the list of countries that suffered the most data breaches.
The biggest breach that affected users in the country was the Swacch city data breach that happened in January, where 91,800 email accounts were breached. This amounts to 2 per cent of all the breaches that happened during the year. The Flipkart and ClickASnap data breaches were also massive, being responsible for 69,700 and 44,700 account breaches, respectively.
The reduction of data breaches in India went in parallel with a global trend of reduced breaches. According to the report, there were 68 per cent fewer breached users in 2022 compared to the previous year.
Europe performed the worst; followed closely by Asia
The report concludes that about 153.3 million, or half of all the breaches recorded during 2022, happened to European email accounts. This can largely be attributed to a flood of Russian data breaches. Russia witnessed a 191 per cent increase in cyber breaches compared to the previous year.
Meanwhile, Asia accounted for a quarter of all the world’s breaches with 74.2 million instances. Most of these came from China, Indonesia and India. The IndiHome breach was the biggest that happened in the region, with over 74.2 million accounts breached. Apart from Russia, the sharpest spikes in breached accounts happened in Indonesia (269 per cent) followed by Sri Lanka (204 per cent), Uzbekistan (73 per cent), and China (45 per cent).
Russia breached Ukraine, hackers breached Russia
According to the report, the United States was the most breached country of this decade up until Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Since then, the Russian Federation has topped the charts, with one-third of all accounts leaked being from the country. The country witnessed 718 account breaches per 1,000 people, the highest such figure among all countries. To put that into context, Ukraine had 54 victims per 1,000 people last year, a 30 per cent decrease over the previous year.