As net use spreads, cyber crimes up 19 times over 10 years
Cyber crimes reported in India rose 19 times over the last 10 years (2005 to 2014), from 481 in 2005 to 9,622 in 2014. India is now ranked third - after the US and China - as a source of “malicious activity” on the internet, second as a source of “malicious code” and fourth and eight as a source or origin for web attacks and network attacks.
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 more Indians logged on to the internet.
Internet subscribers in India crossed the 400 million mark, and are expected to reach 462 million by June 2016.
As many as 9,622 cyber crimes were reported in 2014, an increase of 69 per cent over 2013. Of these, 7,201 were reported as offences under the Information Technology (IT) Act, 2,272 under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and 149 under Special and Local Laws (SLL).
Under the IT Act, the most - 5,548 cases - reported were computer-related offences, of which 4,192 were under Section 66A, which allows for jail terms up to two-three years for sending “offensive messages through communication service” and related offences.
Section 66A of the IT Act was struck down by the Supreme Court in March 2015, saying: “Such a law hit at the root of liberty and freedom of expression, the two cardinal pillars of democracy."
IndiaSpend previously reported how India was following Turkey and Russia in restrictive internet laws. India ranked 136th, Turkey 149th and Russia 152nd in the 2015 Press Freedom Index, issued by Reporters Without Borders, a Paris-based non-profit.
Obscenity, cheating, sexual exploitation-India’s leading cyber crimes
As many as 758 cases were registered for publication or transmission of obscene or sexually explicit content under the IT Act.
Cheating (1,115) was the most reported crime, accounting for nearly 50 percent of IPC crimes. Under SSL offences, copyright violation was the most reported crime (118 of 149).
“Greed/financial gain” were the major motives behind cybercrime cases in 2014 with 1,736 cases, 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 percent of all cases in 2014.
As many as 5,752 people were arrested for cyber crimes in 2014 - 5,744 Indians and eight foreigners. As many as 95 persons were convicted and 276 acquitted for cyber crimes in 2014.
Uttar Pradesh reported the most (1,223) arrests in 2014, followed by Maharashtra (942), Telangana (429), Madhya Pradesh (386) and Karnataka (372).
More than 8,000 websites were hacked in the first three months of 2016, and as many as 13,851 spamming violations were reported, according to a Lok Sabha reply on May 4, 2016.
Cyber security crimes, such as phishing, scanning, introducing malicious code, website intrusion and denial of service, rose 76 percent over the last five years, from 28,127 in 2011 to 49,455 in 2015.
As many as 13,083 and 11,997 cases related to automated teller machines (ATMs), credit/debit cards and net banking frauds were reported by banks during 2014-15 and 2015-16 (till December 2015), respectively, according to a Rajya Sabha reply on April 29, 2016.
Cyber frauds - ATM/credit/debit cards and net banking - cost Rs 226 crore ($38 million) over the last three financial years, 2012-13 to 2014-15.
Cyber crimes cost India $4 billion (Rs 24,630 crore) in 2013, according to a report commissioned by the Delhi High Court.
The global cost of cybercrime was estimated between $375 billion (Rs 2,512,500 crore) and $575 billion (Rs 3,852,500 crore), according to a World Bank 2016 report, quoting a 2014 study. The average per person cost of data breaches ranged from $51 in India to $201 in the United States, it said.
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.


Government lays down advisory for matrimonial websites
Aiming to put an end to the fraudulence on the matrimonial sites, the government on Thursday approved an advisory on functioning of such websites and also made identity proof mandatory to create accounts.
Several complaints were lodged with the Ministry of Communications and IT and the Ministry of Women and Child Development, which prompted the government to take this step, according to sources.
"Communications Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has approved the advisory on functioning of matrimonial websites on Thursday. With this, legal standards of matrimonial sites are laid down clearly," sources said.
"The user may be shortly advised to submit or upload the copy of supporting documents such as proof of ID, address for the purpose of identification." 
The advisory stated that the matrimonial websites should always store IP address of profile creator for one year even after the account is deleted. It was made mandatory to confirm users' intent to a matrimonial site.
It also said the service providers of such sites should also declare on the home page of the site that the website is for matrimonial purpose only and should not have any obscene material.
"The website should maintain transparency. It should have fairness in data collection, have an objective to identity proof and have an in-built mechanism of grievance redressal," the source said.
"It should also encourage registered users to report fraudulent activities."
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.


Is TRAI's half-baked DND Services mobile app, an example of Digital India?

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has launched a mobile application (app) to help subscribers file complaints against unsolicited commercial communications or telemarketing calls and messages. The app is called as DND Services and available on Google App Store. The idea is good, but what came out as the end result is a typical sarkari thing and fails to work as promised. The question is when there are several good apps doing the same job, why was TRAI hell bent on re-inventing the wheel and that too without adequate trials and checks?

As per Google Play Store data and statistics, DND Services is evaluated and rated (on the scale of one to five stars, higher the better) by 38 users till writing this story. However, what it fails to mention is the total number of downloads, as is common with any other app on Google Play Store. 


In fact, the description page of DND Services app shows zero downloads! The same page also has a wrong email ID of the developer. 

Another issue with the DND Services is, it does not recognise dual SIMs in a phone and works assuming the primary SIM as the only SIM. Therefore, in case the user wants to file complaint against UCC received on secondary SIM, she would not be able to do so.


In addition, some users who have tried DND Services app complain about errors while sending complaints. Especially, TRAI or its Do Not Call (DNC) service requires the subscriber to send complaint in a typical format. The mobile app from TRAI is supposed to be able to do it with ease. But that is not the case. Some users say they have received messages pointing out error in message sending format. 
The efforts of TRAI to launch a mobile app for reporting spam or marketing calls and messages is laudable. However, when your launch such apps for mass subscribers, it require adequate field testing. Especially, since this app is being launched by the telecom regulator, and thus carries a weight, should not have launched in half-baked version. May be someone at the TRAI or the Telecom Ministry just want to impress their bosses and have launched the DND Services app without any thorough testing. But such half-baked efforts, especially from the regulator, make people vary about trying out new and useful apps.
Talking about alternates for the DND Services app, there are several mobile apps available on Google Play Store. One of the highly rated (4.6 * out of 5) is ‘India Against Spam’. It is very simple to use and does the job as promised. 
However, all such ‘do not disturb’ and ‘file complaint’ mobile apps will not help you from receiving such messages. The reason is simple, the spammers use a new mobile number every time to send spam messages. However, there is a hope. Some apps like TrueCaller or Truemessenger that work on collective feedback from users. On certain mobile handsets, TrueCaller even blocks (automatically) numbers that are marked as spam by several fellow users. However, both these apps need access to your contact information, which some of us may not like. But then this is a small compromise compared with what we can get in return instead of a sarkari app that is full of glitches.



Aditya G

1 year ago

TRAI's DND is a hopeless joke! I still get crank/spam calls.

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