India witnesses 500% spike in cybercrimes: NSA Ajit Doval
New Delhi: National Security Adviser (NSA) Ajit Doval has said that there’s has been an increase of 500 per cent in cybercrimes in the country. He blamed limited awareness and poor cyber hygiene for it. Delivering the key-note address via video conferencing at the two-day virtual cyber conference, `Cocon 2020′, he said that government is striving hard to protect the country’s cyberspace. “The National Cyber Security Strategy 2020 has focussed on all areas of cybersecurity through its three pillars.” He said. “There is a greater dependence on digital payment platform due to reduced cash handling and greater data sharing is happening online and presence on social media has also increased.” “However, while we are able to manage our affairs to a certain extent, malicious actors also found in it, a new opportunity. We have witnessed an increase of 500 per cent in cybercrimes due to limited awareness and poor cyber hygiene,” Doval added. Citing an example of how fake and malicious apps tried to exploit the pandemic situation, Doval said within a few hours of the announcement by Prime Minister Narendra Modi about PM Cares fund, several fake Arogya Setu apps popped up to exploit data. The NSA warned the citizens that they should be cyber aware, maintain cyber hygiene, secure personal gadgets and report cybercrime and have responsible behaviour in cyberspace. After reports emerged of Chinese company snooping on more than 10,000 Indian individuals and organisations in its global database of “foreign targets”, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) raised the issue with the Chinese ambassador. An expert committee under the National Cyber Security Coordinator will study reports of surveillance by Chinese firm Zhenhua Data Information Technology and submit its report within 30 days. However, China said that Zhenhua is a private company and stated its position publicly, as per sources. Some of the names under the scanner include Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Cabinet ministers like Rajnath Singh and Nirmala Sitharaman and at least 15 former Chiefs of the Army, Navy and Air Force among others.