Cyber crime is on a rise and Visakhapatnam ranks second in the country, after Bengaluru, in the highest number of cyber crime cases. The year 2016 has recorded the highest number of cases in the last four years. The number of cases registered in 2013 were 148, in 2014 it was 195, 266 in 2015 and in 2016 – the number reached 400.
Of the 1080 cases registered since 2013 only 120 have been charge-sheeted and the remaining are under investigation. Phishing and vishing lead the kinds of cyber crime being committed, with the detection rate dropping below 15%. While phishing and vishing make up 50% of the crimes, online lottery and job frauds follow suit.
Reportedly, the most difficult part in these cases is the investigation as most of the crime being committed are from remote places. This makes it difficult to locate them, and the delay in acquiring call records from mobile operators adds on to it. Most of the addresses furnished by the accused turn out to be fake and they operate through pre-activated SIMs.
Despite the rise of cyber crimes, there is hardly any infrastructure in place to tackle it. It has been 3 years since the bifurcation and the state government is yet to establish a full-fledged cyber crime police station with a lab. There is a huge shortage of man power and even the ones deployed now to cyber crime units are untrained. A few months ago, the state government announced that there will be a cyber crime police station set up in Visakhapatnam, but nothing has happened so far. It simply does not seem to be a priority.
And yet, in the recently held e-Governance conference held in the city; the Union Minister of State for Law and Justice, and Electronics and Information Technology, PP Choudhary, stated that the government’s cyber network is a very secure one. India has 8000 government websites and they’re not integrated together. He also stated that the security policy would be revisited from time to time and the cyber security system upgraded periodically. His evidence for the ‘strong cyber network’ is the Aadhar database not being breached yet.