India has witnessed a massive surge in cybercrime incidents in about 10 years - from just 23 in 2004 to 72,000 last year, telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said here today.
"In the year 2004, we had only 23 incidents (of cyber crime). Last year we had about 72,000 incidents. Media reports show as to how cyber attacks are done to completely immobilize the financial infrastructure, information infrastructure," Prasad said at cybersecurity event organized by The Observer Research Foundation and industry body Ficci.
As per government's cyber security arm Computer Emergency Response Team-India (CERT-In) 62,189 cyber-security incidents were reported in just the first 5 months this year.
Attackers compromise computer systems located in different parts of the world and use masquerading techniques and hidden servers making it difficult to trace them.
Prasad expressed concern over the absence of technical and legal infrastructure to catch cyber criminals, as also the lack of mechanism to check the unhindered growth of network of infected computer systems and flow of global information to check cybercrimes.
"There is great imperative to have proper ecosystem where there is meaningful cooperation. It is very important that information is properly shared. It is equally important that there must be mechanism for accountability in place in respect to crimes committed in cyberspace," he said.
Internet, mobile phones and the new media are among the finest inventions and game changers, Prasad said, adding as to why should a few be allowed to abuse it to destroy humanity.
He said India will support the framework of internet governance which must be inclusive and democratic.
British Member of Parliament and Secretary of State for Culture Sajid Javid at the event said multi-stakeholder model, both to governance and security, is the single best solution to the challenge cybercrimes, Prasad said.
He said the UK government has spend almost a billion pound under its Cyber Security Strategy.
"It's a great opportunity for world leaders to come together and confront the criminals. I look forward to India taking part. We must ensure that the internet is safe, secure and successful, but we cannot allow that to be an excuse for further government control of cyberspace," Javid said.
In the United Kingdom, he added, computer-based attacks are ranked alongside international terrorism as one of the biggest threats to national security.