Cyber Crime Offenders Getting Younger, Shows NCRB Data

Nearly 60 per cent of those arrested for the cyber crimes – hacking, obscene publications and forgery, among others —- belong to the age group of 18-30 years, data released by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) show.
According to NCRB, between 2008 and 2011, 1,184 persons were arrested for various cyber crimes, which are on the rise.
“Most offenders belong to the younger generation. They are more aware of the ways and means through which they can exploit cyber space and come from a variety of backgrounds,” Additional Deputy Commissioner (Economic Offences Wing) S D Mishra said.
The records also show that hacking cases have increased substantially over the period, from 56 to 826 cases. Half of those arrested in these cases were in the 18-30 age group.
Hacking is not defined in the IT Act, 2000, but falls under Section 66 of Computer Related offences, which carries a maximum sentence of three years’ imprisonment.
Cases under obscene publications climbed to 496 cases in 2011, with 63.6 per cent of offenders from the same age group. This offence also carries a three-year imprisonment term.
“While cases related to obscene publications have risen, the important thing to note is that none of these cases were related to child pornography,” Mishra said.
Forgery cases rose by over 400 per cent between 2008 and 2011, the NCRB data has revealed.
“There are a surge in the number of reported cases over the years because people are becoming more aware of these things. More number of people are reporting these crimes, especially in instances where there was a financial loss,” he said.
Mishra said most cases registered dealt with internet banking and credit card frauds.
“Cyber investigations are often inhibited if offenders are working from an overseas location. This leads to jurisdiction issues and we are unable to get information from a foreign Internet service provider. But we have a full-fledged forensics lab with the latest equipment to handle such matters,” Mishra said.
In cases which demand expertise in a particular encryption code or a unique data storage system, law enforcement agencies often use the services of private security firms such as Pyramid Cyber Security & Forensics, which specialises in solving such cases.
“Cooperation between countries become crucial in such cases,” Managing Director of Pyramid Cyber Security & Forensics Alok Gupta said, referring to an agency called IMPACT (International Multilateral Partnership against Cyber Crime). IMPACT, a not-for-profit organisation with 195 member countries, acts as the cyber security arm of the United Nations and helps in countering cyber threats.
Cyber crime cases are sensitive subjects. Not everyone would like to openly speak or admit that such a crime has taken place. If, for example, a bank was to report a cyber crime, the customers will be apprehensive about putting their money there,” Gupta said.
According to Gupta, malware without signatures, cloud adoption and mobile devices are what pose a threat to cyber security.
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Courtesy : Indian Express