Cyber Crimes in India May Double by 2015

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  •  Jan 06, 2015
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What is causing even more concern is that the origin of these crimes is widely based abroad in countries including China, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Algeria among others, says D.S Rawat, Secretary General ASSOCHAM.

Rising at alarming rate, the number of cyber crimes in India may touch a humungous figure of 3,00,000 in 2015, almost double the level of last year causing havoc in the financial space, security establishment and social fabric, an ASSOCHAM-Mahindra SSG study warned.

While releasing the joint study on “Cyber and Network Security Framework” D.S Rawat, Secretary General ASSOCHAM said, “What is causing even more concern is that the origin of these crimes is widely based abroad in countries including China, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Algeria among others”.

As per the study findings, during 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 years, a total number of cyber crimes registered were 13,301, 22,060  71,780  and 62,189 (till May). Currently, the cyber crimes in India is nearly around 1,49,254 and may likely to cross the 3,00,000 by 2015 growing at compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of about 107 per cent. As per the findings, every month nearly 12,456 cases registered in India.

Phishing attacks of online banking accounts or cloning of ATM/Debit cards are common occurrences. The increasing use of mobile/smartphones/tablets for online banking/financial transactions has also increased the vulnerabilities to a great extent. The maximum offenders came from the 18-30 age group, adds the report.

These attacks have been observed to be originating from the cyber space of a number of countries including the US, Europe, Brazil, Turkey, china, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Algeria and the UAE, highlighted the ASSOCHAM-Mahindra SSG joint study.

With increasing use of information technology (IT) enabled services such as e-governance, online business and electronic transactions protection of personal and sensitive data have assumed paramount importance. “The economic growth of any nation and its security whether internal or external and competitiveness depends on how well is its cyberspace secured and protected”, said Rawat.

The ASSOCHAM report further said, mobile frauds are an area of concern for companies as well as 35-40% of financial transactions are done via mobile devices and this is expected and this is expected to grow to 55-60% by 2015, adds the study.

Growing internet penetration and rising popularity of online banking have made India a favorite among the cybercriminals, who target online financial transactions using malware and India ranks third after Japan and US in the tally of countries most affected by online banking malware during the year of 2014, highlighted the study.

Increasing smartphone sales and usage in India, the number of people falling victim to such crimes is also on the rise. The number of cyber crime victims in India (2012) was 46 million people against the global average of 560 million.

During the years 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 (till May), a total number of 21,699, 27,605, 28,481, 48,174 Indian websites were hacked by various hacker group spread across worldwide and likely to touch 85,000 by 2015, adds the study. 

The smartphone users rarely check for security certificates and download apps (games, music and other software) from third party or unsecured sites. Mobile banking apps store data such as PIN, account number on the phone. So, there is a risk that if the phone is hacked or stolen, then the information is compromised, points out the study.

As per the study, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra have occupied the top 3 positions when it comes to cyber crimes registered under the new IT Act in India. Interestingly, these three states together contribute more than 70 per cent to India's revenue from IT and IT related industries.

According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), in 2013, 681 cyber crime related cases have been registered in Maharashtra, which has seen a 44.6 per cent rise in cyber crimes when compared to 2012. Andhra Pradesh with 635 cases registered in 2013 has also seen a 48 per cent rise when compared to 2012. Karnataka with 513 cases registered in 2013 has seen a 24.5 per cent rise when compared to 2012.

Uttar Pradesh with 372 cases registered in 2013 is in the fourth place. It has seen a huge rise of 81.5 per cent in just one year. Kerala is in the 5th place with 349 cases registered in 2013.

Dos and Don'ts

•    Avoid online banking, shopping, entering credit card details, etc if the network is not properly secured

•    Check your online account frequently and make sure all listed transactions are valid

•    Be extremely wary of e-mails asking for confidential information. Never ever click on a link given in a spam e-mail

•    Always delete spam e-mails immediately and empty the trash box to prevent clicking on the same link accidentally

•    Beware of lotteries that charge a fee prior to delivery of your prize

•    While using a credit card for making payments online, check if the website is secure as the CVV will also be required for the payment

•    Notify your bank/credit card issuer if you do not receive the monthly credit card statement on time. If a credit card is misplaced or lost, get it cancelled immediately

•    Do not respond to lottery messages or call on the numbers provided in the text messages

•    Do not provide photocopies of both sides of the credit card to anyone. The card verification value (CVV), which is required for online transactions, is printed on the reverse. Anyone can use the card for online purchases if they get that information

•    Do not click on links in e-mails seeking details of your account, they could be phishing e-mails from fraudsters. Most reputed companies will ask you to visit their website directly

•    Do not give any information to people seeking credit card details over the phone


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