Backhackers

Backhackers: New Data Reveals the World’s Most Dangerous Digital Destinations in 2024 – With Searches for ‘Cybercrime Helpline’ Soaring 247%

Published on: January 13, 2024
Last Updated: January 13, 2024

Backhackers: New Data Reveals the World’s Most Dangerous Digital Destinations in 2024 – With Searches for ‘Cybercrime Helpline’ Soaring 247%

Published on: January 13, 2024
Last Updated: January 13, 2024

Planning a dream holiday this year? Pack your sunscreen swimsuit, and cybersecurity awareness…

  • Popular holiday destinations Mexico, Thailand and India all rank in the top 10 for cybercrimes such as financial fraud and identity theft in the past 30 days
  • India takes the top spot with staggering attack rates, including botnets (97%) and mobile malware (26%).
  • 72% of cybercrime now happens through a victim’s mobile device, often accessed through unsecured public Wi-Fi
  • 70% of successful financially motivated attacks now happen in emerging countries 

A new global study by tech review website, EarthWeb.com, reveals the 10 countries where your dream holiday could turn into a digital disaster with risks of your bank accounts being emptied and your sensitive information stolen, amid global searches for ‘cybercrime helpline’ soaring 247% in the last 12 months. 

Tourist hotspot, India, ranks as the world’s largest cybercrime trap.

With a staggering 18.4 million monthly attacks, it leads in botnet takedowns (97%) and mobile malware (26%).

Effective botnets are large-scale attacks used to steal and access personal data like credit card numbers and passwords. 

The study analyses the number of successful malware attacks globally in the last 30 days, compared to the total number of attack requests for each country, ranking destinations by the ruthless efficiency of their personal cyberattacks.

According to the study, there are now 3.5 billion cybercrime incidents every month, with a startling 72% of cybercrime happening through a mobile device.

The data reveals 70% of successful financially motivated attacks now happen in emerging countries which are also top tourist destinations such as India, Mexico and Thailand. 

Analysing ransomware attacks, a type of malware that locks and encrypts the victim’s device until the attacker receives a ransom payment, Taiwan is revealed to incur the most at 74%, with the country also having the highest rates of banking trojans (48%) which is malware designed to collect online banking credentials and other sensitive information.

Most cybercrime is financially motivated, with financial gain cited as the main reason for attacks, and according to the World Economic Forum (WEF), cybercrime is now the world’s third-largest economy after the US and China.

cybercrime 1118

The study analyses different types of malware related attacks based on how much damage it can do to the individual, revealing nearly half (46%) to be ransomware attacks.

Over a third (34%) included banking trojans and 69% contained botnets.

Jason Wise, Editor at EarthWeb comments: “It’s not just bad luck – cybercriminals are increasingly using more coercive tactics and tailoring their attacks to specific regions and tourist activities.

According to our study, Mexico has seen a surge in mobile ransomware targeting smartphone-wielding tourists, while Thailand grapples with botnet operations disguised as local Wi-Fi hotspots.

The US might lead the pack in raw attack numbers, but it’s a fortress when it comes to successful breaches, with their cybersecurity infrastructure blocking most attacks”.

Jason Wise shares tips on how to stay safe in a digital danger zone: “Before you travel, familiarise yourself with the cyber landscape of your destination and be aware of common scams and malware risks.

Avoid public Wi-Fi – it’s a hacker’s playground.

Invest in a reliable VPN for secure browsing, and keep software updated, using strong, unique passwords across all devices.

Don’t click on suspicious links or engage with unsolicited messages and always double-check the legitimacy of senders”.

Digital Danger Zones: New Data Reveals Surprising Hotspots for Cyberattacks in 2024

Cyberattacks
RankCountryRegionBanking TrojansBotnetCryptominerMobileRansomwareTotal Malware Attacks (30 days)Threat Score
1IndiaSouth Asia41%97%70%26%52%18,400,660.6057%
2MexicoNorth America35%89%43%12%66%7,299,918.4449%
3TaiwanEast Asia48%66%25%8%74%14,660,043.9844%
4Sri LankaSouth Asia35%97%37%17%20%4,472,340.8441%
5ThailandSoutheast Asia32%76%61%2%25%7,743,435.1339%
6BrazilSouth America13%35%16%18%28%21,818,599.2522%
7MalaysiaSoutheast Asia13%32%30%1%28%5,105,444.4921%
8United KingdomEurope5%14%2%1%6%5,912,173.966%
9United StatesNorth America5%10%2%1%7%37,156,693.705%
10AustraliaAustralasia2%17%0%2%5%6,621,999.535%

1. India Is the Botnet Capital of The World

With a staggering 18.4 million monthly attacks, it leads the pack in malicious botnets (97%) designed to steal your data and drain your bank accounts.

Add to that a whopping 26% of attacks targeting mobile devices, and suddenly your smartphone becomes a ticking time bomb.

2. Ransomware Reigns Supreme in Mexico

Mobile ransomware is skyrocketing, taking aim at tourists glued to their screens.

Mexico is revealed to be at the forefront affecting 66% of people who are targeted in these attacks. 

3. Beware of Banking Trojans in Taiwan 

Before you indulge in stunning landscapes and temple tours, be wary as this paradise harbours a digital cocktail of ransomware (74%) and banking trojans (48%). 

Sources:

Methodology:

  • Data collected on Tuesday 9th January 2024
  • Total attacks were calculated by totalling the number of inbound and outbound attacks on a monthly basis. The sum of % for each category were calculated and then divided by 100 x total attacks to give a final figure 
  • The index was compiled weighting the % by the total number of attacks 
  • Table shows % of attacks per year, total attacks are calculated for the month. % were sourced for the month and * by 12 to give figures for the year
  • % shows the totals of affected people and organisations for that specific malware category
  • Threat score was calculated using an average of all malware categories collected  
  • Keyword research gathered through keywordtool.io

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Written by Jason Wise

Hello! I’m the editor at EarthWeb, with a particular interest in business and technology topics, including social media, privacy, and cryptocurrency. As an experienced editor and researcher, I have a passion for exploring the latest trends and innovations in these fields and sharing my insights with our readers. I also enjoy testing and reviewing products, and you’ll often find my reviews and recommendations on EarthWeb. With a focus on providing informative and engaging content, I am committed to ensuring that EarthWeb remains a leading source of news and analysis in the tech industry.