Cyber crime rising: Is India doing enough?

New Delhi, Sept 28: The rate at which cyber crime in India is growing is very alarming. A rough estimate indicates that the rate at which incidents are growing annually is 107 per cent.

Read more: Cyber extortion cases rising in India

Incidents of hacking, data theft, cyber bullying and now cyber extortion as well has kept the cyber security team on its toes, but the question that needs to be asked, " is India doing enough?"

Cyber crime: Is India doing enough?

The statistics on cyber crime in India paint a picture that none can be proud of. The only hope ahead is that the Union Government has cleared the setting up of the National Cyber Crime Coordination Centre.

The setting up of the NCCC was pending since 2013 and it was only last month that the finance ministry gave the nod to set up the centre at an estimated cost of Rs 800 crore.

What cyber crime statistics reveal?
A detailed report was prepared by the The Associated Chambers of Commerce & Industry of India in which it stated that 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.

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.

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.

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.

Among the bigger states Tamil Nadu and Bihar have very few cyber crime related cases. Just 54 cases have been registered in Tamil Nadu and just 23 cases have been registered in Bihar in 2013. Gujarat and Odisha have also registered just 61 and 63 cases respectively in 2013.

Among the Union Territories, the national capital Delhi has registered 131 cyber crime related cases. It has seen a rise of 72.4 per cent when compared to 2012.

What the NCCC proposes to do?

The job of the NCCC will be 24/7 and would aim at intercept all communication on the internet with the help of the various service providers in the country. It would collect data that passes both inside and outside India. The data would then be analysed. If the data analysed is considered to be actionable then in real time it would shared with the respective police stations and also intelligence bureau would in turn act on the information.

The NCCC would have a specialized team which would only deal with encrypted data. These are the days of steganography and it is extremely important that these coded messages placed in pictures are broken down in order to read the real message.

The NCCC would have the capability of dealing with steganography and this would go a long way in helping crack cases where terrorists communicate through this concept.

The NCCC would also have the herculean task of tracking down messages on social networking sites. The Intelligence Bureau had launched an extremely successful operation titled Operation Chakravyuh (Chakravyuh: These ISIS recruits didn't know who they were speaking to) through which recruits into terror groups were being tracked.

The NCCC would further this operation and keep a tab on every bit of activity that is taking place on the social media. If the information being sent out or the communication appears suspect then the operation to track down these persons would be launched.

The NCCC would keep a real time track on all activity on the internet. Those messages found to be suspicious in nature would be gathered and fed to the main centre where it would be analysed. This would also help the NCCC lead up to websites that are being hosted by terrorist outfits.

These websites which are normally locked with passwords would be opened up by the NCCC and the information and data collected. These websites normally carry messages, recruitment details and many times information regarding an ongoing plan to carry out a terror strike.

The NCCC would have to analyse these details and analyse it before passing it on to the intelligence bureau which would then make it actionable by passing it on to the respective jurisdictional police stations.

ASSOCHAM suggests:

-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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