India witnesses increase in hacking, cybercrime

India witnesses increase in hacking, cybercrime

17,137 cases of website hacking reported in 2011; govt portals most hit

The increasing internet usage in the country has led to rise in hacking incidents, according to a report by Department of Information technology.

Nearly 17,137 cases of website hacking have been reported in 2011, against 14,348 cases in the previous year.

As many as, 219 government portals were targeted by the hackers until October, while 252 hacking incidents were reported in 2010.

“Most of the hacking done for websites under .in domain name and a majority of Indian websites targeted were hosted outside India,” says the report.

Despite hacking of the various government department websites, “none of the sensitive data of the government got damaged,” the report added.

The government has started to audit its 7,000 websites in the wake of hacking incidents and all ministries and departments are implementing crises management plans.

Besides, Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In), an agency under the DIT, issues alerts, advisories and guidelines on cybersecurity threats and to prevent hacking, sources told Deccan Herald.

As per the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) report, the total numbers of cybercrimes has skyrocketed to 966 in 2010 from 420 cases in 2009.

Karnataka tops the chart with 15.8 per cent cybercrime cases, followed by Kerala (148), Maharashtra (142), Andhra Pradesh (105) and Rajasthan and Punjab (52 each),” the NCRB 2010 report said.

Most of the cybercrime incidents pertain to hacking of emails and posting objectionable contents—including videos—on the accounts of individuals that tarnish their reputation, while hackers have also broken into bank accounts, sources said.

Act amended

The Centre has amended the Information Technology Act to provide a legal framework to address cybercrimes. The law now provided stringent punishment ranging from imprisonment of three years to life imprisonment and fines for various acts of cybercrime, including tampering with computer source documents, hacking of computers and publishing of obscene information. The increase can also be attributed to the explosion in the number of websites and internet usage.

Number increased

The number of websites in India, including hosted outside the country, has increased to 11.2 million in 2011 (up to November) against 1.7 lakh in 2005, while the number of internet users increased to 101 million in 2011 ( up to November) against 21 million in 2005.