India logs 40% annual increase in cyber crime cases

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New Delhi: Hacking, publication of obscene contents, credit card and banking frauds among other cyber crimes have registered an annual increase of more than 40 per cent in the country in the past two years.

According to Home Ministry statistics, as many as 71,780 cyber frauds were reported in 2013, while 22,060 such cases were reported in 2012. There have been 62,189 incidents of cyber frauds till June this year.

In 2013, a total of 28,481 Indian websites were hacked by various hacker groups spread across the globe. The number of hacking incidents were 27,605 in 2012 and 21,699 in 2011.

Obscene publication, transmission of unauthorised contents, credit card and banking frauds are the widespread cyber crime faced worldwide. Other cases include phishing, scanning, spam, malicious code and website intrusions.

There has been an annual increase of more than 40 per cent in cyber crime cases registered in the country during the past two-three years, a Home Ministry official said.

India with a fast growing economy is susceptible to international and domestic cyber attacks and there is a need to ensure cyber crime-free environment, the official said.

The cyber 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.

It has been observed that the attackers compromise systems located in different parts of the world and user masquerading techniques and hidden servers to hide the identity of the actual system from which the attacks are being launched.

Cyber space is virtual, borderless and anonymous due to which it becomes difficult to actually trace the origin of a cyber attack, the official said.

As per the cyber crime data maintained by National Cyber Records Bureau, a total of 1,791, 2,876 and 4,356 cases were registered under the Information Technology Act in 2011, 2012 and 2013, respectively. A total of 422, 601 and 1,337 cases were registered under cyber crime related sections of the Indian Penal Code in 2011, 2012 and 2013, respectively.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh has said in Parliament recently that there was a need to strengthen cyber monitoring in the wake of growing use of Internet and social media by global terror outfits like ISIS to indoctrinate the youth.

The Home Minister was responding to concerns raised by MPs in the wake of arrest of Bangalore professional Mehdi Masroor Biswas for operating a pro-ISIS Twitter account.

Arif Majid, one of the Mumbai youths, who had gone to the ISIS-controlled territories in Iraq and Syria, told police after his return that they were indoctrinated to extremist ideology through Internet contents.

Concerned over 40 per cent annual increase in cyber crimes, the government has set up an expert group to chalk out strategies for effective tackling of the menace.

The five-member expert study group will prepare a road map for effectively tackling cyber crime in the country and give suitable recommendations on all its facets.

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