Over 22,000 websites hacked in India between Apr 2017 and Jan 2018: Officials

New Delhi, Sep 5 (PTI) The CBI is building a state-of-the-art Centralised Technology Vertical (CTV) to combat cyber crimes in the country which will become operational next year, Minister of State for Personnel Jitendra Singh said on Thursday.The minister made the announcement while addressing the maiden two-day conference on cyber forensics organised by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) here.During deliberations in the conference, it was underlined that cyber criminals pose a serious threat, with 22,000 websites in India hacked in just the 10-month period between April 2017 and January 2018.The CBI is building the Rs 99-crore CTV, which will become operational next year, to tackle the growing menace of cyber crimes. It will give real time information about the attacks and the perpetrators to investigators, Singh said.Around 50 officers, from young superintendents of police to top brass of various police forces, intelligence and security agencies, ministries and other law enforcement wings, have huddled at the imposing CBI headquarters here to discuss issues pertaining to cyber crimes in the country.The deliberations revolved around jurisdictional issues as most of the cyber crimes are triggered from foreign lands, making the investigations difficult, officials said.They, however, did not give out the extent of financial damage incurred due to cyber crimes in India.During the conference, several other interesting cases were discussed threadbare, including the biggest international hack, in which the Union Bank of India's SWIFT, a banking messaging service for international transactions, was targeted by hackers who siphoned off USD 171 million using it in 2016, the officials said.Two years after the biggest cyber heist, the CBI was tasked to investigate the case, they said.The probe is spread across seven countries, the officials said without elaborating on the present stage of the investigation.In terms of magnitude, the crime overtook the hacking of the Bangladesh Central Bank, in which USD 81 million were stolen by hackers, they said.The officers also discussed the case of the City Union Bank, which lost USD 2 million to hackers allegedly based in Turkey, China and Dubai."During our reconciliation process on February 7, it was found that three fraudulent remittances had gone through our SWIFT system to our corespondent banks which were not initiated from our bank's end. We immediately alerted the correspondent banks to recall the funds," City Union Bank had said in a regulatory filing on stock exchanges.The bank said it was working with the Ministry of External Affairs and officials in Turkey and China to repatriate the funds.Addressing the conference, Union minister Singh said the evolution of society and with it, the evolving nature of crimes make it incumbent on investigative agencies to sharpen their techniques to track cyber crimes and bring criminals to book, thereby dispensing justice to victims. PTI ABS IJT