Data theft is becoming a new challenge for the law enforcement agencies. Ahmedabad is among the major cities in the country where digital growth has been phenomenal in the last few years and hence, digital threat has also increased manifolds.
Apart from the conventional dangers of data breach through credit card hacking or other banking frauds where people lose money, a new trend that has emerged is theft of confidential data from offices of big corporates, that too mostly by company insiders.
Data shared by the Cyber Crime Helpline (1930) revealed that since its inception, it has received about 3.17 lakh financial fraud-cum-data breach complaints resulting in losses to the tune of Rs 360 crore. A substantial chunk of these ‘data bootlegging’ complaints are for theft of confidential data.
Police said complaints of data theft from corporate offices, either by installing malware or by poaching old employees have skyrocketed. “On average, we get 200 such applications but for the last two months the figure has almost doubled,” an official said.
“A company’s financial status, its approach to business and even views of business development are closely guarded secrets that many would like to steal,” said the official.
He said online banking frauds and phishing were also data theft. “Your credit card details, biometrics and SIM cloning is data and such data in the wrong hands can rob you of your earnings and a company of its profits,” said the cop.
Recently a company approached police in which their rivals poached one of their employees. “The employee was lured with double pay and was allegedly paid an additional amount to steal confidential data through a pen drive. The data theft resulted in the company suffering a huge loss and we are investigating the case,” said an investigator.
Police said certain private entities specialised in data theft and since big money was involved anyone could be lured to steal confidential data of corporations. “All that you need is malware or a pen drive,” the investigator added.
Police officials said many startups were also reporting data theft by their rivals mainly to know their business strategy.
Some time ago a telecom giant lodged a complaint with the City Crime Branch against one of its senior employees for stealing highly confidential business data by using a pen drive. The employee then joined a rival firm. The employee stole data about revenue sharing, generation, distribution and business strategy.