Bengaluru: With greater stress now on digital economy and online cash transactions, cyber security experts warn of a bigger danger, of online fraud and cyber security attacks, which India is presently ill-equipped to prevent or deal with, said Neeraj Aarora, advocate on record, Supreme Court, cyber lawyer and international arbitrator.
Mr Aarora told Deccan Chronicle that digital economy faces a more sinister challenge from new set of crimes and fraudsters than cash transactions. “The job of terrorists and antinational elements has become easier. While counterfeit currency could be identified and terrorists needed manpower to circulate it in the market, in the case of online fraud fixing identity will be a bigger issue. We lack adequate laws and professional expertise to prevent and counter cyber security attacks,” he said.
The Information Technology (IT) Act is not adequate to deal with online fraud, he explained. Sections 66, 66A, 66C and 66D of the IT Act, which deal with punishment for phishing, disguising email containing the fake link of bank to mislead the recipient about the origin of such email, disguising of fraudster as the real banker and misuse of the unique identifying feature of the bank for fraud and impersonation are all bailable offences. “The police do not have the powers to take the custodial remand of the accused,” he said.
“Ransomware is another real threat in the virtual world. Indian laws are toothless to deal with ransomware as most provisions in law – Section 43(c) of IT Act, Section 383/384 Indian Penal Code – are also bailable and are soft to deal with such offences.
Further, the lack of investigative skills with law enforcement agencies in the country, coupled with requisite trans-jurisdictional investigation, creates a safe haven for such cyber criminals.
Further, the manner in which Indians are participating in cyber crimes and given the technical knowhow the Indian community has, the bigger risk would be swinging of Indian cyber criminals into the ransomware industry. In the absence of cash if digital system becomes the victim of ransomware, how will we encounter the threat,” he questioned.
In September, the country’s largest bank, the State Bank of India, and its subsidiary banks had to block about 6.25 lakh debit cards of their customers following a malware-related security breach at non-SBI ATM machines.
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