80% cyber crimes reported from 10 districts; Bharatpur is the new Jamtara: Study

The study also revealed that just the top 10 districts collectively contribute to 80 per cent of cybercrimes in the country

Representative image of hacking (photo: Colourbox via DW)
Representative image of hacking (photo: Colourbox via DW) 

Rajasthan's Bharatpur and Uttar Pradesh's Mathura have replaced Jharkhand's Jamtara and Haryana's Nuh as the infamous hotspots of cybercrime in India, according to a new study by an IIT Kanpur-incubated start-up.

The study also revealed that just the top 10 districts collectively contribute to 80 per cent of cybercrimes in the country.

The findings have been mentioned by the Future Crime Research Foundation (FCRF), a non-profit start-up incubated at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-Kanpur, in its latest comprehensive white paper named 'A Deep Dive into Cybercrime Trends Impacting India'.

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Bharatpur (18 per cent), Mathura (12 per cent), Nuh (11 per cent), Deoghar (10 per cent), Jamtara (9.6 per cent), Gurugram (8.1 per cent), Alwar (5.1 per cent), Bokaro (2.4 per cent), Karma Tand (2.4 per cent) and Giridih (2.3 per cent) are the top contributors to cybercrime cases in India, collectively accounting for 80 per cent of reported incidence, the FCRF claimed.

"Our analysis focuses on the top 10 districts in India that are most prone to cybercrime. As identified in the white paper, understanding the key factors contributing to cybercrime in these districts is essential for devising effective prevention and mitigation strategies," FCRF co-founder Harshvardhan Singh said.

He said the analysis of the top 10 cybercrime hubs (districts) in India reveals several common factors contributing to their vulnerability and these include geographical proximity to major urban centres, limited cyber security infrastructure, economic challenges and low digital literacy.

"Addressing these factors through targeted awareness campaigns, law enforcement resources, and educational initiative is crucial to reducing cybercrime rates in these districts and enhancing the overall cyber security landscape of India," Singh added.

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The FCRF study noted that while established cybercrime hubs continue to pose significant threats, the emerging new hotspots demand attention and proactive measures by people and authorities.

These represent regions where various forms of digital criminal activity are on the rise, often catching both law-enforcement agencies and the public off guard, it stated.

On factors behind the surge in such cases, the non-profit body, said it can be attributed to a complex interplay of various factors such as low technical barriers allowing individuals with limited expertise to engage in such activities using readily available hacking tools and malware.

Inadequate Know Your Customer (KYC) and verification processes on online platforms enable criminals to create fake identities, making it challenging for law-enforcement to trace them, while easy access to fake accounts and rented SIM cards on the black market allow thugs to operate anonymously, complicating the efforts to track and prosecute them, it stated.

Furthermore, the affordability of AI-driven cyberattack tools empowers criminals to automate and scale their attacks, increasing their efficiency while virtual private networks (VPNs) provide anonymity for cybercriminals, making it difficult for authorities to trace their online presence and location, it added.

The FCRF also flagged that unemployed or underemployed individuals are recruited and trained by cybercrime syndicates, creating a growing pool of potential criminals.

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