For the first time, the Government has tried to define cyber terrorism, child pornography, spam, phishing and online frauds.

Our Bureau

Hyderabad, Dec. 4 The Union Government is in the process of amending the legal framework to address issues posed by cyber crimes emerging from new technologies.

The Government has introduced the Information Technology (Amendment), Bill 2006 in Parliament. Once adopted, it would be in line with the European Cyber Convention.

“The Standing Committee has given its report with a number of suggestions which have been incorporated and it will be tabled in the ensuing Winter Session of Parliament,” Mr Gulshan Rai, Director General in the Union Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, said on the sidelines of the Internet Governance Forum 2008.

India was the twelfth country to enact the Information Technology Act, 2000, a legal framework to address the issues in cyberspace. The Government had introduced the Amendment Bill in the Lok Sabha in 2006.

He added that for the first time, the Government has tried to define cyber terrorism, child pornography, spam, phishing and online frauds in the Amendment.

“There is also a need to exchange information without hindrances among CERTs (Computer Emergency Response Teams) across the world to tackle cyber criminals,” he said.

Mr Rai also called for a long-term global collaboration and cooperation among countries, both for taking research, exploring science and developing technologies necessary to design security into computing and networking systems and software.

“There are several areas relating to cyber security in which there may be conflicting interest and needs. Such areas need to be addressed as a part of a comprehensive approach to the cybersecurity as it is more a global phenomenon,” he said.

According to him, the CERT in India has reported 800 new electronic vulnerabilities during 2007, which is more than a 20-fold increase from 2001.

“The total number of attacks – including viruses and worms, cyber frauds in organisations are rising by over 15 per cent annually with many types of attacks doubling in number,” he said. The CERT in India has also observed that around 80 per cent is spam in e-mail traffic.

“The number of phishing cases is also increasing among the Indian banks. Almost 7-8 cases of phishing are being reported on an average daily and most of them are hosted from outside -- hosted in one country, registered in another country,” Mr Rai said.

Also another most disturbing fact that has been observed is the increase in the number of cases of cyber incidents pertaining to domain name registry, he said.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated December 5, 2008)
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