Over 290,000 cyber security incidents related to banking reported in 2020

Over 2.9 lakh cyber security incidents related to digital banking were reported in 2020, the Parliament was informed recently. As per the information reported to and tracked by Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In), a total number of 1,59,761; 2,46,514 and 2,90,445 cyber security incidents pertaining to digital banking were reported during 2018, 2019 and 2020, respectively, Minister of State for Electronics and IT Sanjay Dhotre said in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha.

These incidents included phishing attacks, network scanning and probing, viruses and website hacking, he added. The Minister noted that the rising popularity of non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) along with e-commerce has also expanded the scope of digital payments. “The percentage rise in digital transactions is 46 per cent in 2020 in comparison to 2018-19,” he said.

The numbers of digital transactions have increased from 3,134 crore in the financial year (FY) 2018-19 to 4,572 crore in FY 2019-20, Dhotre added. Responding to a separate query, the minister said the number of websites/webpages/accounts blocked stood at 9,849 in 2020. This was 2,799 in 2018 and 3,635 in the year 2019.

He said Section 69A of the IT Act empowers the government to block any information generated, transmitted, received, stored or hosted in any computer resource in the interest of sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of the State, friendly relations with foreign states or public order. In response to another question, Dhotre said 6,233 cases were registered in 2019 under fraud and cheating (involving communication devices as medium/ target as per Information Technology Act 2000), as per National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data. “As per NCRB, the number of cases registered under fraud and cheating (involving communication devices as medium/ target as per IT Act 2000) for cyber crimes are 3,466, 3,353, 6,233 during the year 2017, 2018 and 2019, respectively,” he added.