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Canva Caught in Cyber Storm: Indian Authorities Crack Down on Misuse!

I4C flags Canva for misuse in frauds. Notice issued to combat phishing, highlighting challenges in digital tool regulation.



Canva Caught in Cyber Storm: Indian Authorities Crack Down on Misuse!

The Indian Cybercrime Coordination Centre (I4C), under the Ministry of Home Affairs, has raised concerns over the misuse of the popular online design platform Canva for hosting criminal activities such as creating fraudulent documents and phishing materials.

Canva, headquartered in Australia, is a widely used visual communications platform offering a range of templates for presentations, documents, websites, social media graphics, posters, and more. With over 170 million users across 190 countries, the platform’s ease of use and accessibility have made it vulnerable to exploitation by cybercriminals.

According to sources within the ministry, various criminals are using Canva to create dubious websites and templates, luring individuals seeking assistance with cyber, job, or finance-related issues into fraudulent schemes. Clicking on links or calling phone numbers associated with these fraudulent templates can lead to financial losses or other cybercrimes.

In response, the I4C has issued a notice to Canva, urging the company to take action against such misuse and disable access to or remove the identified malicious content within a specified timeframe.

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The notice, issued under Section 79 (3) (b) of the Information Technology Act-2000 and Rule 3(1) (d) of the IT (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021, warns that failure to comply may result in Canva losing its intermediary exemptions under the IT Act and Rules.

While Canva is not the only platform that can be exploited for such activities, the widespread use of its free services has made it a target for abuse. As of March 2024, the company reported having only 17 million paid users out of its 170 million user base.

The I4C, responsible for coordinating with agencies regarding cyber frauds, has emphasized the importance of addressing this issue to prevent further exploitation of Canva’s services for illegal activities.

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Canva, in its defense, emphasizes its role as a design platform offering a wide range of tools for creating legitimate content. They highlight the vast library of templates, fonts, stock photos, and other resources available to users for creative expression.

As online platforms continue to evolve and expand their reach, ensuring their responsible use and preventing misuse for criminal activities remains a critical challenge for cybersecurity agencies and technology companies alike.


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