Between 2016 and 2018, a total of 61,361 cyber crime incidents were registered in India, Minister of State for the Home Ministry, G Kishan Reddy informed Lok Sabha on February 11. In 2016, 12,317 cyber crimes were reported, as opposed to 21,796 in 2017 — a 77% year-over-year increase. In 2018, such incidents increased to 27,248 — meaning that reported cyber crimes in 2018 increased 121% as opposed to 2016.

Reddy was responding to questions raised by BJP MPs Ravi Kishan and Janardan Singh Sigriwal. He also said that data for reported cyber crime incidents in 2019 has not been compiled yet. He added that there has been an increase in the number of reported cyber crimes “as awareness and recording of cyber crimes has improved”.

When asked about the measures taken by the central government to check cyber crimes in the country, Reddy said that states and union territories are primarily responsible for the prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of crimes through their law enforcement agencies. The Home Ministry “supplements the initiatives of the State Governments through various advisories and schemes”; which includes issuing alerts/advisories, capacity building of law enforcement personnel, and improving cyber forensics facilities etc. He added that the government has launched the National Cyber Crime Reporting Portal, to enable citizens to report cyber crime incidents.

3,000 official government email IDs from ISRO, MEA, SEBI were compromised: Reddy’s response comes after it was reported that at least 3,000 email IDs of officials belonging to government organisations such as Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), Ministry of Corporate affairs, Ministry of External Affairs, Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) and Securities and Exchanges Board of India (SEBI), were compromised, with their passwords available in plain text across various leaked databases on the dark web.

  • It also comes months after the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) had confirmed that an internet connected computer at the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant had been infected.

National Cyber Security Strategy 2020: TheNational Security Council Secretariat had sought comments for the formulation of the National Cyber Security Strategy 2020 (NCSS 2020) until January 10, 2020, which is expected to be released in the first quarter of 2020.

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