The government has set up a dedicated cyber and information security (CIS) division at the Home Ministry after more than 150 incidents related to cyber security, including phishing, website intrusions, defacements, virus, ATM malware and ransomware, were reported in the first half of this year, according to the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-IN).
The new division will hold its first national meet on cyber security with the States and Union Territories during December 12-13 in Delhi, officials said. The agenda includes apprising state governments of the National Information Security Policy and Guidelines (NISPG) formulated to ensure safety of data.
In May, six cases of WannaCry ransomware were reported in India in states like Gujarat, Kerala, West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh when the attack hit 150 countries. Eighteen computers of AP Police were affected.
A senior government official said, “As more and more Indians go online, setting up a critical infrastructure to predict and prevent cyber crimes is the need of the hour. We plan to go into the processes of how cyber crime complaints are dealt in different states during the two-day discussions and then come up with a standardised format.”
Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba is likely to address cyber experts from the States and UTs during the summit.
According to the latest NCRB data, 12,187 cyber crime related cases were recorded in 2016, 7.55 per cent more than in 2015. “Due to lack of awareness, victims of cyber crimes such as stalking and sexual exploitation do not prefer to get an FIR registered and instead want their problems solved through an intervention from the police,” a Home Ministry official said, adding that the MHA will also urge state authorities to create awareness.
Last year, 562 cases of sexual harassment, and 570 blackmail and extortion cases were reported in cyber space with Uttar Pradesh recording the highest number of such incidents. The RBI reported an increase of 4.4 per cent from 13,083 cyber crime related incidents in 2014-15 to 13,653 in 2016-17.
“The cyber crime cells set up in States and UTs need to be proactive. During the two-day discussion we will also form groups to share best practices,” the official added.
A review of cyber forensic training and investigation labs set up in Kerala, Assam, Mizoram, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Tripura, Meghalaya, Manipur and Jammu & Kashmir will also be held, according to officials. These labs were set up for the training of law enforcement personnel and judiciary in the States.