A parliamentary committee has recommended that a centralised agency be set up to deal with cyber crime as the country has been witnessing a sharp increase in such cases over the past few years.
The Standing Committee on Information Technology, chaired by Rao Inderjit Singh, pointed out that there are several agencies involved in maintaining separate data on cyber crime cases in India.
"The committee fail to understand as to how Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DEITy) concertises its cyber security strategies when so many agencies are involved in data collection and maintenance and when there is absence of any centralised monitoring system and centralised maintenance of data relating cyber fraud," the panel said.
Presently, the national Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) maintains data on cyber fraud, while data related to Internet financial frauds along with the quantum is maintained by the Reserve Band and the CBI.
The committee said it has been informed that DEITy regularly interacts with the banks, RBI and CBI regarding cyber fraud related actions like prevention, investigation, support, technical advisories, promotion of best practices and compliances.
"The committee feel that there should be one single, centralised cell/agency to deal with all cases of cyber crime/ threat in the country. This will not only help the Department in knowing the pattern of the crime, but also prevent recurrence of same kind of crimes with newer strategies," it added.
The number of incidents of website compromise in India has grown 5.5 times during the last five years (2007-08 to 2013-14) putting it amongst the top 5 countries with respect to spam mails.
The panel said it was "highly perturbed" to note that 3,911 Indian websites were defaced/hacked up to June 2013 and majority (around 2,667) of these attacks occurred in the '.In' domain, whose servers are in India.
"The committee also note that while the usage of Internet has facilitated transparency and greater accountability, it has at the same time, led to increasing forms of cyber crime and cyber threat each day with newer challenges for data protection and security," it added.
Phishing incidents have also increased from 392 to 887 during the same period.
According to NCRB data, a total of 420, 966, 1,791 and 2,876 cyber crime cases were registered under the IT Act during the years 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012, respectively.
As per RBI records, the number of fraud cases on account of ATM debit cards/credit cards/Internet have decreased to 8,322 (2012) from 15,018 (2010).
However, the amount involved has increased from Rs 40.48 crore in 2010 to Rs 52.67 crore in 2012.
The panel recommended that DEITy should put the proposed agenda of 24x7 National Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Centre on top priority.