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  • Context (TH): In 2023, Aadhaar-enabled Payment System (AePS) frauds accounted for 11% of cyber-financial frauds originating in India, as per the Indian Cybercrime Coordination Centre (I4C).
  • The central government’s cybercrime portal (cybercrime.gov.in) and the 1930 helpline received 1,310,329 complaints about cyber-related financial frauds. This included AePS frauds where biometrics were cloned.
  • The scams involve cloning people’s Aadhaar-linked biometrics. This is done by using silicon fingerprints and unauthorised biometric devices.

What is AePS?

  • AePS, or Aadhaar-enabled Payment System, is a financial service in India that allows customers to carry out banking transactions using only the bank name, Aadhaar number, and fingerprint.
  • It eliminates the requirement for OTPs and the necessity to input bank account information and other financial details.

Types of Services Available under AEPS

Aadhaar Enabled Payment Services and System | AEPS - FSS

  • Privacy Issues: Concerns about the potential misuse of Aadhaar data. For example, leak in biometric information.
  • Authentication Errors: leading to the exclusion of individuals from essential services.
  • Centralisation of personal data makes it a potential target for cyber-attacks.
  • Excessive Government Surveillance: Due to the extensive use of Aadhaar in public and private transactions.
  • Concerns about the involvement of foreign entities in Aadhaar-related projects and potential risks associated with international data sharing.

Indian Cybercrime Coordination Centre (I4C)

  • It is a specialized agency established by the Government of India to combat and coordinate efforts against cybercrime.
  • I4C operates under the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in India.
  • I4C manages the National Cybercrime Reporting Portal (cybercrime.gov.in), which serves as an online platform for individuals to report cybercrimes.
  • It has seven components:
    • National Cyber Crime Threat Analytics Unit
    • National Cyber Crime Reporting Portal
    • National Cyber Crime Training Centre
    • Cyber Crime Ecosystem Management Unit
    • National Cyber Crime Research and Innovation Centre
    • National Cyber Crime Forensic Laboratory Ecosystem
    • Platform for Joint Cyber Crime Investigation Team.
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