India Comes 10th in Cybercrime- Study Reveals

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India Comes 10th in Cybercrime- Study Reveals

India have been ranked number 10 in cybercrime, with frauds involving people to make advance fee payment being the most common type, according to a new research that surveyed cybercrime experts around the world. An international team of researchers has compiled the ‘World Cybercrime Index’ that ranks roughly 100 countries and identifies key hotspots according to various categories of cybercrime, including ransomware, credit card theft and scams.

Russia topped the list, and was followed by Ukraine, China, the US, Nigeria and Romania. North Korea was at the seventh position, while the UK and Brazil were at the eighth and ninth positions, respectively, according to the research published in the journal PLoS ONE.

Through the survey, the researchers asked the experts to consider major types of crime in the virtual world and nominate countries that they thought contributed significantly to each of them.

The major categories that the researchers identified were – technical products and services such as malware and compromising systems; attacks and extortion including ransomware; data and identity theft including hacking, compromising accounts and credit cards; scams such as advance fee fraud; and cashing out or money laundering involving illegitimate virtual currency.

Invites to respond to the survey were sent out from March to October 2021. The team received 92 complete survey responses.

The top six countries appeared among the top ten countries under each cybercrime category, the researchers found. They further found that countries that are cybercrime hubs “specialise” in particular categories.

“Russia and Ukraine are highly technical cybercrime hubs, whereas Nigerian cybercriminals are engaged in less technical forms of cybercrime,” the authors wrote in the study.

Among the top ranking countries, while some may “specialise” in cybercrime types with middling technical complexity – such as those involved in data and identity theft – others may “specialise” in both high-tech and low-tech crimes, they said.

India was found to “specialise” in scams. Further, while Romania and the US were found to “specialise” in both high-tech and low-tech crimes, India was found to be a “balanced hub”, “specialising” in mid-tech crimes.

“In short, each country has a distinct profile, indicating a unique local dimension,” the authors wrote.

“We now have a deeper understanding of the geography of cybercrime, and how different countries specialise in different types of cybercrime,” said study co-author Miranda Bruce from the University of Oxford, UK.

The “intensive” three-year-long research “will help remove the veil of anonymity around cybercriminal offenders, and we hope that it will aid the fight against the growing threat of profit-driven cybercrime,” said Bruce.

The experts contacted by the researchers were professionals engaged in cybercrime intelligence, investigation and attribution for at least five years, were “not actively involved in tracking offenders” and had an “excellent” reputation among peers.

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