With the growing digital dependence for business continuity amid the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak, the cyberattacks in India have ballooned to over 9,000 last fiscal. According to the data shared by the Union government, over 9,000 complaints of cyber frauds were received on the National Consumer Helpline during the financial year 2020-21.
As per the information provided by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, a total of 11,713 and 9,002 complaints of cyber frauds were received on National Consumer Helpline during the financial years 2019-20 and 2020-21, Minister of State for of Electronics and IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.
Chandrasekhar noted that the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) does not maintain any such database. The Minister said Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) at the Centre and states take appropriate legal action as per provisions of law against the cybercrime offenders.
The government helps states in combating cyber crimes by assisting them through various awareness schemes, and has taken a number of legal, technical, and administrative measures to prevent cybercrimes, Chandrasekhar added.
These include various steps, including the issue of alerts and advisories regarding the latest cyber threats/vulnerabilities and countermeasures by the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) to protect computers and networks on a regular basis.
In response to a separate query, Chandrasekhar said CERT-In is mandated to track and monitor cyber security incidents in India. “CERT-In has reported that a total number of 17,560, 24,768, 26,121, and 25,870 Indian websites were hacked during the years 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021 (up to October) respectively,” he said.
Chandrasekhar said there have been attempts from time to time to launch cyberattacks on Indian cyberspace. It has been observed that attackers are compromising computer systems located in different parts of the world and use masquerading techniques and hidden servers to hide the identity of actual systems from which the attacks are being launched.
“According to the logs analyzed and made available to CERT-In, the Internet Protocol (IP) addresses of the computers from where the attacks appear to be originated belong to various countries including Algeria, Brazil, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Netherlands, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia, Serbia, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, USA, Vietnam, etc,” Chandrasekhar added.
He further noted that CERT-In also conducts regular training programmes for network/system administrators and Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) of Government and critical sector organizations regarding securing the IT infrastructure and mitigating cyberattacks.
“Fifteen (15) and 17 training programs were conducted covering 708 and 4,801 participants during the year 2020 and 2021 (till October 2021) respectively,” he said.
Asked whether the Government is considering standalone law for cyber security to cater to new-age cyber crimes, Chandrasekhar said presently, there is no such proposal with the Ministry.