NEW DELHI :
Cybercrimes in India almost doubled in 2017, according to statistics released by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB). The data comes in the backdrop of India aspiring to become a trillion dollar digital economy. Interestingly, cybercrimes accounted for less than a percentage (0.43%) or 21,796 cases of a total of 50,07,044 cognizable crimes in 2017.
According to NCRB, which released the statistics late on Monday, “During 2017, 56.0% of cyber-crime cases registered were for the motive of fraud (12,213 out of 21,796 cases) followed by sexual exploitation with 6.7% (1,460 cases) and causing disrepute with 4.6% (1,002 cases)."
With the Centre scrambling to fortify India’s cyber operations amid growing warnings of malware attacks on personal and organizational devices, intelligence and cyber law experts have said much like crimes against women, India suffers from dismal under-reporting of cybercrimes.
India recorded 9,622, 11,592 and 12,317 cases of cybercrime in 2014, 2015 and 2016 respectively. The data for 2017 comes after a two-year delay, with the Centre blaming states for the delay in providing statistics for compilation.
s“Data is now being collected in greater detail for several categories of crimes. For example, under Cyber Crimes against Women & Children, NCRB is collecting crime statistics under crime heads such as Cyber Blackmailing / Threatening, Cyber Pornography, Cyber Stalking, Defamation / Morphing, Fake Profile, Internet Crimes through Online Games, etc," the NCRB report said.
With the Centre setting up the NIC-CERT--National Informatics Centre-Computer Emergency Response Team--to combat cybercrimes and the home ministry proposing to set up the Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (I4C), the government is hoping to beef up India’s cyber security network.
The Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) coordinates efforts on cybersecurity issues and is tasked with responding to cyberattacks, the National Technical Research Organisation is the elite technical intelligence agency.
The National Democratic Alliance government has set a goal of making India a $5 trillion economy by 2024. With a growing economy, the number of cyber-attacks have also gone up. A case in point being India’s power sector that is facing cyberattacks, with at least 30 events reported daily. A majority of the attacks originate from China, Singapore, Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States countries.