CYBER THREAT (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Sci and Tech)

News-CRUX-10     4th January 2024        

Context: According to Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), around 50% of cyber-crime complaints received on the national cyber crime helpline every day have their origin in China and pockets of Cambodia and Myanmar, Rajesh Kumar, chief executive officer of Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (I4C).

Highlights of Report

  • Origin: Criminal gangs operating from countries like Cambodia and Myanmar are behind these fraudulent activities.
  • Government Action: Since April 2021, ₹1127 crore has been blocked in various bank accounts based on complaints from 4.3 lakh victims.

oOnly ₹100 crore has been returned to complainants, prompting the government to address the concern and develop a mechanism for recovering blocked funds.

  • Integration of Financial Institutions with Helpline: 263 banks, e-commerce companies, and the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) have been integrated with the 1930 helpline.

oAutomated tickets are generated upon receiving complaints, ensuring swift action even if the money transfers across different banks.

  • Blocking Operations: MHA reports the blocking of 2,95,461 SIM cards, 2,810 websites, 595 mobile applications, and 46,229 IMEI numbers based on complaints.
  • Regional Hotspots: West Bengal, Odisha, and Assam are identified as hotspots for fraudulent procurement of SIM cards.
  • Cybercrime Trends and Statistics: Noteworthy cybercrime trends from the previous year include 1.49 lakh complaints against Investment Apps/Websites, 85,000 related to Illegal loan Apps, 43,000 on Customer Care Number and OTP frauds, 34,000 regarding Impersonation or takeover of social media accounts, and 19,000 complaints of Sextortion.
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