By Arup Chanda
KOLKATA, India, Oct. 3 (Xinhua) -- More than 42 million people in India have been victimized by cyber criminals in the last 12 months, with approximately 8 billion U.S. dollars in direct financial losses, a recent report said.
These findings form part of the Norton Cybercrime Report 2012 based on experiences of over 13,000 adult Internet users across 24 countries globally, including 1,000 from India. The global cost to cybercrime was estimated at $110 billion.
According to the report, 66 percent of adults in India have been victims of cybercrime in their lifetime. In the last 12 months, 56 per cent of adults online in India have experienced cybercrime, translating to more than 115,000 victims of cybercrime every day or 80 victims a minute and more than 1 a second.
The average direct financial cost per victim is placed at $192, up 18 percent over $163 in 2011. Globally, every second, 18 adults become a victim of cybercrime, resulting in more than one-and-a- half million cybercrime victims each day. With losses totaling an average of $197 per victim across the world in direct financial cost, in the last 12 months, an estimated 556 million, or 46 per cent of adults across the world, have been victimized by cybercrime. This figure is almost on par with the findings in 2011 at 45 per cent.
This year's survey shows an increase in "new" forms of cybercrime compared to last year, such as those found on social networks or mobile devices -- a sign that cyber criminals are starting to focus on these increasingly popular platforms, the report said.
In India, one in three adults online (32 per cent) has been a victim of either social or mobile cybercrime in the last 12 months, and 51 percent of social network users have been victims of social cyber crime. Specifically, 22 percent of social network users reported someone had hacked into their profile and pretended to be them.
Fifteen percent of social network users said they were victimized by the scam or fake link on social network platforms. While 83 per cent believed that cyber criminals are setting their sights on social networks, only around half (57 percent) actually used a security solution which protects them from social network threats.
Only 44 percent used the privacy settings to control what information they share and with whom. Nearly half (44 per cent) of mobile users received a text message from someone they didn't know requesting that they click on an embedded link or dial an unknown number to retrieve a "voicemail." "Cyber criminals are changing their tactics to target fast growing mobile platforms and social networks where consumers are less aware of security risks," Effendy Ibrahim, Internet Safety Advocate and Director for Asia of Norton, said."This mirrors what we saw in this year's Symantec Internet Security Threat Report 7 which reported nearly twice the mobile vulnerabilities in 2011 from the year before," Ibrahim said.