INDIA: Massive rise in online cheating in country in last two months, says new official data


JULY 12, 2020

The work-from-home culture has invited cyber criminals. Or so it appears from the numbers. There has been a 200 per cent rise in cyber incidents in India in last two months. “There has been a 200 per cent rise in cyber incidents in India in the last two months, but those cannot be blamed to Chinese actors,” chief information security officer in the Prime Minister’s Office, Gulshan Rai, said on Monday. He, instead, blamed a shift in the service sector to work-from-home due to the Covid-19 pandemic for the heightened incidents, saying people are “mindlessly” downloading unverified applications which may lack security features.

Two weeks ago, the government banned 59 Chinese mobile applications, including TikTok. But, according to cyber security firm RiskIQ, there are about 90 lakh smartphone apps in cyber space, 40 per cent of which are Chinese. RiskIQ says 2019 saw people downloading 200 billion units of mobile apps. In terms of money, they spent $120 billion. A proportionate share means China got $48 billion from the download of these apps in 2019. Mail Today had earlier reported about cyber criminals taking the advantage of the pandemic situation and work-from-home culture. Delhi Police Cyber Cell unit claims that they have received thousands of cyber complaints post March 25.

Every day more than 100 complaints are being filed in cyber cell unit of Delhi Police. In the month of April, May and June, as many as 3,068, 3,468, and 3,000 cyber-related complaints were filed with this specialised unit, respectively. However, before lockdown, the figures were comparatively very low. In January, the number of cases was 1,260, in February as many as 1,849 cases were reported and in March the figure was 1,690.

Cyber security lawyer Pawan Duggal told Mail Today, “Due to the lockdown when people are mostly at home, they are accessing internet like never before. Above that, internet surfing in the lockdown period remains unsupervised. This shift has increased remote activities, such as teleworking. It furthers the reliance on email for communication, thus creating perfect conditions for email fraud schemes.” Delhi Police claims that these days people are being duped by hacking their WhatsApp as well.

“WhatsApp can be hacked too. Attackers obtain WhatsApp verification PIN from target using a fake account with official WhatsApp logo as display picture to trick users into believing that it is the official account of WhatsApp tech. If the target divulges the PIN to the attacker, the account gets hacked. The attackers can then leverage their access to the account to further send fraudulent messages to friends and family of the target,” said Bhisham Singh, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Cyber Cell).

Courtesy/Source: India Today