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Govt Portal Records Over 4 Lakh Cybercrime Complaints In Less Than A Year

Out of the 4 lakh complaints lodged on the Ministry of Home Affairs’ National Cybercrime Reporting Portal, half are related to financial frauds.

Govt Portal Records Over 4 Lakh Cybercrime Complaints In Less Than A Year
Cybercrimes in India | Image for representation PTI

Over four lakh complaints, with around half related to financial frauds, has been recorded in less than a year since the Ministry of Home Affairs’ National Cybercrime Reporting Portal  www.cybercrime.gov.in was launched.

“The portal (which was launched on August 30, 2019) gives us …..a perspective on what kind of complaints/ frauds are trending. What are the upcoming frauds and how we can work on policies and take up certain matters with the concerned authorities,” Ashok Kumar, Director, Ministry of Home Affairs told participants attending Pursuit 2021, an event on cybersecurity organised by the Internet and Mobile Association of India.

The recently developed module -- Citizen Financial Cyber Fraud Reporting and Management System, on the portal, has helped the government save Rs 5 crore in just two to three months, the official stated at the two-day virtual event, which concluded on Thursday.

Under the new module, once a complaint is filed according to set parameters with the police through helpline number 155260 and it has been input into the system, the banks are alerted on any suspicious transaction, saving the targeted amount.

Dr Gulshan Rai, India’s first Cybersecurity Coordinator, & Distinguished Fellow, Observer Research Foundation (ORF) warned that Covid-19 pandemic and rising digitisation has led to a surge in cybercrimes or ‘cyberwar’ which has started impacting the industry too.

“In India, almost every sector has been breached because they all are inter-connected. During the pandemic, the number of breaches increased by 2,000 percent because we were using ASL or DSL from home,” Rai stated. As neither ASL or DSLis secure, sensitive information flowing through them is at risk and is being used for a variety of purposes, causing financial fraud, and a threat to national security.

Over 130 global experts including regulators, enforcement agencies, industry experts, CXO of large financial institutions, and heads of tech companies, founders of Regtech startups, shared their views and experience of trying to curb cybercrimes at the well-attended event.

Rai highlighted that although 90 percent of attacks are traditional in nature like phishing, malware, etc, what is however worrying is the rise in number of targeted attacks (which accounts for 9 percent currently). Solar winds, Wannacry, are some examples of targeted attacks which are detrimental for any organization and nation.

Speaking on ‘Financial Services Digital Innovation - Data Protection Imperatives’, Rama Vedashree, CEO, Data Security Council of India, stated that India is definitely leading the playbook for technology-led financial inclusion. “The way technology has accelerated financial inclusion we are truly becoming the playbook for the world. Particularly, in the financial services sector, several competitors are collaborating together and there's a strong sense of cooperation rather than competition…In this collaboration, we need to make sure that there’s no breach at any point,” Vedashree said.

Focusing on how technology can play a role in mitigating such attacks, Sanjay Kumar, Commissioner of Police, Kerala Police, stressed the “need to guard our houses through proper detection processes. With more robust mechanisms, better check and balances, e-KYC, artificial intelligence”.

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