India has ranked fourth on the list of global cybercrime victims for the second time in a row, according to the latest report released on Monday by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), which is the apex cybercrime investigation agency in the United States of America.
The report was officially published by the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), a division of the FBI that exclusively looks into cybercrime in the US and around the world. The IC3 analyses data about the number of cases as well as types of crimes registered to map the latest trends in cybercrime.
The IC3’s Internet Crime Report 2021 states that India logged a total of 3131 victims of cybercrime last year. While the US reported the highest number of victims at 466,501, the United Kingdom (UK) and Canada followed in the second and third place with 303,949 and 5788 victims respectively.
A comparative analysis of the IC3’s report for 2020 showed that India was in fourth place in that year as well, with 2930 victims being logged. The US, UK and Canada were once again in the first, second and third positions in this category.
“In 2021, heightened attention was brought to the urgent need for more cyber incident reporting to the federal government. Cyber incidents are in fact crimes deserving of an investigation, leading to judicial repercussions for the perpetrators who commit them,” FBI Deputy Director Paul Abbate stated in the report.
India’s central cybersecurity agency Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In), works in close coordination with similar agencies in other countries and actively monitors any and all cyber threats.
Additionally, cyber police stations have been set up all over the country to deal with cybercrimes at a local level. Mumbai alone has five cyber stations, supplemented by cyber cells in each police station and works in collaboration with the Maharashtra Cyber department.
On Monday, CERT-In released a detailed advisory about mobile phone-based malware, which is a rapidly evolving cyber threat. A wide range of malware is released on the internet which is specifically targeted at mobile phone users.
“Mobile phones account for more than 50% of internet traffic worldwide, making them a lucrative attack surface for cybercriminals,” CERT-In’s advisory states.
Mobile users are advised to keep their apps and operating systems updated at all times, use strong passwords, install security software from verified sources, back up their data frequently and only use trusted chargers and USBs, as even these can be used to inject malware in mobile phones.