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EDITORIAL ANALYSIS : Leveraging voice technology to combat cyber-fraud

 

Source: The Hindu

 

  • Prelims: cybercrime, Voice Technology (VT), 5G etc
  • Mains GS Paper III: Linkage of organized crimes with terrorism, implications of cybercrimes on security etc

ARTICLE HIGHLIGHTS

  • According to the Reserve Bank of India, frauds have cost the country an estimated ₹100 crore a day over the last seven years.
    • The frauds reported in 2021-22 were around 24% higher than in the previous year.

 

INSIGHTS ON THE ISSUE

Context

Cybercrime:

  • It is defined as a crime where a computer is the object of the crime or is used as a tool to commit an offense.
  • Cybercrimes are at an all-time high, impacting individuals, businesses, and countries.

 

Types of Cybercrimes:

 

The main reasons for the rise in fraud:

  • Greater use of digital payments
  • Telephone banking
  • Online banking services.

 

What does Growing fraud mean?

  • Rising losses for financial institutions
  • Increasing cases for law enforcement to solve.

 

Voice Technology (VT):

  • It encompasses voice biometrics or voice/speech recognition technology.
  • It uses the unique characteristics of a person’s voice as identification.
  • Digital voiceprint: The technology creates a digital voiceprint and compares it to a caller’s voice.
  • Voice authentication can significantly improve security over knowledge-based authentication methods, which fraudsters have exploited to scam people.
  • Voice use is the cheapest technology: It does not require a reader or special device.
  • It is non-invasive, portable and affords remote identification.
  • Challenging to hack: Unlike a password, a customer’s voice is impossible to spoof or copy, and is far more challenging to hack.
  • VT verifies a caller swiftly in seconds by analyzing the caller’s voice and flags suspicious calls.
  • VT allows privacy because it does not require users to reveal personal information.
  • Voice biometrics can help financial institutions to ensure higher levels of protection for customers and employees.
  • First bank: In 2019, HSBC became the first bank to introduce voice recognition for mobile banking customers
    • Telephone banking fraud cases fell by over 50%.

 

Uses:

  • Forensic and law enforcement: VT is an essential tool for forensics and law enforcement.
  • The police can leverage voice to improve investigation efficiency, identify criminals, track criminals, and better respond to and prevent crimes.
  • Criminal background checks to airport security.
  • Voice has a much lower error rate, and requires no eye contact.
  • VT has the advantage:
    • improving user experience
    • reducing call handle time
    • call center costs
  • High accuracy: It ensures high-accuracy authentication in seconds.
  • Playback attacks: It also has the ability to resist playback attacks.
  • The technology is sensitive enough to detect if someone is impersonating the user or playing a recording.
    • It can identify even if the user has a cold or a sore throat.

 

Way Forward

  • The voice biometrics industry is growing exponentially: Experts expect the market to reach a market size of $9(three point nine)billion by 2026, with a compound annual growth rate of 22.8(twenty two point eight)%.
  • The Government needs to develop a mechanism for proper coordination between financial institutions and the police to investigate and prosecute fraudsters, as a fraud deterrent, and to maintain an extensive database of such criminals.
  • Verification accuracy: The technology may not be 100% foolproof, may give false positives, and has an accuracy between 90% and 99%.
    • But some recent systems which come with voice analytics of gender and age identification, claim 100% verification accuracy
  • Voice could be an excellent tool for the Government to disburse money for various schemes and verify the proof of life of pensioners from their homes.
  • Once in place, user establishments can reap the benefits from a substantial reduction in fraud, making the technology an essential feature in the security toolkit of the future.

 

QUESTION FOR PRACTICE

Q. Discuss different types of Cybercrimes and measures required to be taken to fight the menace.(UPSC 2020) (200 WORDS, 10 MARKS)

Q. What is the CyberDome Project? Explain how it can be useful in controlling internet crimes in India.(UPSC 2019) (200 WORDS, 10 MARKS)