Why is cybercrime on rise in India?

By Rohini Hiremath

The online boom has been the major reasons that most social sites, eCommerce, digitalisation, banking to online payments etc. has been on a rise. But it has a hindsight to it too as rise of internet has led to a rise in cyber crime.   In 2015, India was ranked third worldwide, next to the US and China, as a hub misuse of internet. In 2016, a report by Symantec Corp, a software security firm reporter the rise of cyber crimes reported in India rose 19 times over the last ten years (2005 to 2014), from 481 in 2005 to 9,622 in 2014.     Arrests involving cyber crimes also rose nine times from 569 in 2005 to 5,752 in 2014, according to National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data, even as the number of Indians logging into the Internet increases. Internet subscribers in India crossed 400 million mark, and are expected to reach 462 million by end of June 2016.     Growing internet diffusion and rising popularity of online banking have made India a favourite among the cyber criminals. Online banking frauds or cloning of ATM/Debit cards have become commonplace too. 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 groups.   There has been a six-fold increase in such cases over the past three years. Around 2277 complaints of online banking/credit/debit card fraud have been reported this year, followed by 191 Facebook-related complaints (morphed pictures/cyber stalking/cyber bullying). Other major cyber complaints were cheating through mobile (61), hacking of e-mail ID (59), abusive/offensive/obscene calls and SMS (55), and others.   Cyber frauds which includes ATM/credit/debit cards and net banking, cost Rs. 226 crore ($38 million) over the last three financial years, 2012-13 to 2014-15.   Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra have occupied the top three positions when it comes to cyber crimes. Interestingly, these three states together contribute more than 70 per cent to India’s revenue from IT and IT related industries. Increasing in sale of smartphone and its usage in India, the number cyber crime victims has increased-in 2012, 46 million people against the global average of 560 million.   Obscenity, cheating, sexual exploitation is also accounted as a major menace of cyber crime in India. Cheating (1,115) was the most reported crime, accounting for nearly for 50 per cent of IPC crimes. Under SSL offences, copyright violation was the most reported crime (118 of 149). Followed by insult to modesty of women (599), fraud or illegal gain (495), sexual exploitation (357) and personal revenge/settling scores (285).     Maharashtra reported the most cyber crimes (1,879) in 2014, double the cases (907) of the previous year. Uttar Pradesh was second (1,737), followed by Karnataka (1,020), Telangana (703) and Rajasthan (697). The top five states accounted for 63 per cent of all cases in 2014.  Prime Minister Narendra Modi also highlighted and discussed cyber crime and cyber security issue with US President Barack Obama during his US visit. //

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