APT refers to a format where the attacker gains access to a network/device and stays there undetected for a long period of time. The motive of the attack is to steal data and there is a longer term damage to the organisation/user.

"APT attacks are on the rise globally and those affecting India are also growing. These attacks are originating from China, the US and Russia among other countries. A major chunk of the attacks like Equation, Turla, Darkhotel, Regin, Cloud Atlas infected India as well," Kaspersky Lab Deputy Director Global Research and Analysis Team Sergey Novikov told reporters here.

"As more and more devices get connected to the Internet/network, the level of sophistication of these attacks is also on the rise," he said. Novikov said the line of distinction between state-sponsored cyber attacks and those by criminal gangs is diminishing as similar techniques often get used.

Stuxnet is a example of APT attack. The malicious worm is believed to have been jointly built American-Israeli cyber weapon to sabotage Iran's nuclear programme. Rainer Bock, Head of Strategic Projects at the company said one could see more complex attacks going ahead, including state-sponsored ones.

Targets of these attacks are also evolving as newer devices like ATM and PoS machines, smart cities and connected cars are now on the radar, he said.