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India lost Rs 34,200 crore to cybercrime last year

Last updated on: September 9, 2011 13:16 IST

India lost Rs 34,200 crore to cybercrime last year

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Vicky Nanjappa in Bengaluru


Cybercrime cost the world a gargantuan $114 billion in direct financial loss last year, reveals the Norton Cybercrime Report 2011.

In India, approximately 2.9 crore (29 million) people fell victim to cybercrimes and cumulatively suffered a loss of $7.6 billion (approx Rs 34,200 crore) in 2010, a report by Norton has said.

With 431 million adult victims globally in the past year and at an annual price of $388 billion globally based on financial losses and time lost, cybercrime costs the world significantly more than the global black market in marijuana, cocaine and heroin combined ($288 billion).

While the direct financial losses from cybercrime stood at $114 billion, as much as $274 billion was the value of time that victims spent in solving the crimes.

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Photographs: Uttam Ghosh/Rediff.com
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India lost Rs 34,200 crore to cybercrime last year

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Of the total amount lost in India to cybercrime, $4 billion (approx Rs 18,000 crore) is direct financial loss, while $3.6 billion (approx Rs 16,200 crore) is in terms of time spent to resolve the crime, the Norton Cybercrime Report said.

The study was conducted by the cyber security firm across 24 countries in February this year.

Overall, more males fell in the trap of cybercriminals at 72 per cent, compared to 65 per cent of females.

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Photographs: Uttam Ghosh/Rediff.com
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India lost Rs 34,200 crore to cybercrime last year

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Norton experts observed that there is a disconnect between what people think is important and their action to protect themselves from cybercrime.

"While 74 per cent of respondents say they are always aware of cybercrime, many are not taking the necessary precautions," the report said.

The survey found that only 21 per cent of victims reported cybercrime to the police. Despite being aware of cybercrime threats, only 16 per cent people had security software on there mobile phone and only 21 per cent on their computers.

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Photographs: Uttam Ghosh/Rediff.com
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India lost Rs 34,200 crore to cybercrime last year

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According to the report more than two-thirds (69 per cent) of the adults online have been victims of cybercrime in their lifetime. Every second 14 adults become a victim of cybercrime, resulting in more than one million cybercrime victims every day.

In India, four in five online adults (80 per cent) have been a victim of cybercrime.  For the first time, the Norton Cybercrime Report reveals that 10 per cent of adults online globally (17 per cent in India) have experienced cybercrime on their mobile phone.

The number of reported new mobile operating system vulnerabilities increased, from 115 in 2009 to 163 in 2010.  

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Photographs: Uttam Ghosh/Rediff.com
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India lost Rs 34,200 crore to cybercrime last year

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In addition to threats on mobile devices, increased social networking and a lack of protection are likely to be some of the main culprits behind the growing number of cybercrime victims.

The study identifies men between 18 and 31 years old who access the Internet from their mobile phone as even more likely victims: in this group four in five (80 per cent) have fallen prey to cybercrime in their lifetime.

Globally, the most common -- and most preventable -- type of cybercrime is computer viruses and malware with 54 per cent of respondents saying they have experienced it in their lifetime. Viruses are followed by online scams (11 per cent) and phishing messages (10 per cent).

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India lost Rs 34,200 crore to cybercrime last year

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Earlier this year the Symantec Internet Security Threat Report, Volume 16, found more than 286 million unique variations of malicious software ('malware') compared to the 240 million reported in 2009, representing a 19 per cent increase.

"There is a serious disconnect in how people view the threat of cybercrime," said Gaurav Kanwal, country sales manager for India and SAARC, consumer business unit, Symantec. "Cybercrime is much more prevalent than people realize. Over the past 12 months, three times as many adults surveyed have suffered from online crime versus offline crime, yet less than a third of respondents think they are more likely to become a victim of cybercrime than physical world crime in the next year."

"And while 89 per cent of respondents agree that more needs to be done to bring cybercriminals to justice, fighting cybercrime is a shared responsibility. It requires us all to be more alert and to invest in our online smarts and safety," she added.

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India lost Rs 34,200 crore to cybercrime last year

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The disconnect between awareness and action is further illustrated by the fact that while 74 per cent of respondents say they are always aware of cybercrime, many are not taking the necessary precautions. 41 per cent of the adults indicated they don't have an up to date security software suite to protect their personal information online.

In addition, less than half review credit card statements regularly for fraud (47 per cent), and 61 per cent don't use complex passwords or change them regularly.

Among those who access the Internet via their mobile phone, only 16 per cent install the most up to date mobile security.


Photographs: Uttam Ghosh/Rediff.com
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