New Delhi: Rising at alarming rate, the number of cyber crimes in India may touch 3 lakh 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.
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.”
According to the study, 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 is likely to rise at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of about 107%.
It also found that 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 and 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 the 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 competiveness 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 favourite 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 ASSOCHAM- Mahindra SSG 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 respectively were hacked by various hacker group spread across worldwide and likely to touch 85,000 by 2015, adds the study.
There are many ways that sensitive information is hacked as a result of cell phone usage. The most common are due to installation of uncertified applications, said Mr. Rawat. 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. Credit and debit card fraud cases top the chart of cybercrimes. There has been a sixfold increase in such cases over the past three years.
According to the data, around 2277 complaints of online banking/credit/debit card fraud have been reported this year, followed by 191 Facebook-related complaints. Other major cyber complaints were cheating through mobile (61), hacking of e-mail ID (59), abusive calls and SMS (55), and others.
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% rise in cyber crimes when compared to 2012.
Andhra Pradesh with 635 cases registered in 2013 has also seen a 48% rise when compared to 2012. Karnataka with 513 cases registered in 2013 has seen a 24.5% rise when compared to 2012. Interestingly, these three states together contribute more than 70% to India's revenue from IT and IT related industries.
Uttar Pradesh with 372 cases registered in 2013 is in the fourth place. It has seen a huge rise of 81.5% 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% when compared to 2012.