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Cyber fraudsters have gone innovative and stylish in fishing

A phishing email is outdated these days, their new medium to reach their targets are WhatsApp.

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Cyber fraudsters on rise | File Photo

Cyberbullying and fraudsters are now forced to get more creative, particularly in focusing on all forms of social engineering. To convince their prey they started giving visual delights to music effects. They have tie-ups with various data centers for stronger numbers, creating a plot to cheat from Paytm to phone pay and recently the lottery, they are using more sophisticated methods of bypassing filters and signature-based scans and using all forms of emotional cues to wobble in a victim.

Poverty, joblessness, greed and survival challenge prompt the victims to fall into such traps. There is a lack of awareness in those who are at the receiving end of the scams. A phishing email is outdated these days, their new medium to reach their targets are WhatsApp. Human error in cybersecurity is still a leading cause of many if not most data breaches.

Sophisticated e-crime activity continues to outpace state-sponsored activity, e-crime accounted for over 80 per cent of all interactive intrusion. This can be attributed to successful targeted attacks by threat actors using ransom ware and ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS) models. Apart from such ransomware attacks, hands-on keyboard intrusions have also increased in the first half of 2020. Two-thirds of businessmen say cyber crime could occur more during Covid-19 than before.

Cybercrime is not new, but increased levels of connectivity, remote working, dependence on technology, and mechanization means the risk of attack is rising rapidly. All criminals target vulnerabilities, and this is no different online. Gaps in your defences can be targeted both at a human and system level.

Pandemic aside, the last five years have seen several significant data security breaches at high-profile organisations. Businesses must be better prepared and equipped to identify and respond to digital threats. Even larger corporate organisations that invest significantly in IT security must stay constantly up to date with the evolving cyber threat landscape.

With the Centre scrambling to fortify India’s cyber operations amid growing warnings of malware attacks on personal and organizational devices, intelligence and cyber law experts have said much like crimes against women, India suffers from dismal under-reporting of cybercrimes. India recorded 9,622, 11,592 and 12,317 cases of cybercrime in 2014, 2015 and 2016 respectively. The data for 2017 comes after a two-year delay, with the Centre blaming states for the delay in providing statistics for compilation.

With the Centre setting up the NIC-CERT–National Informatics Centre-Computer Emergency Response Team–to combat cybercrimes and the home ministry proposing to set up the Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (I4C), the government is hoping to beef up India’s cybersecurity network.

The advancement of technology has made man dependent on the Internet for all his needs. The Internet has given men easy access to everything while sitting in one place. Social networking, online shopping, storing data, gaming, online studying, online jobs, every possible thing that man can think of can be done through the medium of the internet. The Internet is used in almost every sphere. With the development of the Internet and its related benefits also developed the concept of cyber crimes.

Cyber crimes are committed in different forms. A few years back, there was lack of awareness about the crimes that could be committed through the Internet. In matters of cyber crimes, India is also not far behind the other countries where the rate of incidence of cyber crimes is also increasing day by day. There are millions of websites; all hosted on servers abroad, that offer online gambling. In fact, it is believed that many of these websites are actually fronts for money laundering. Cases of hawala transactions and money laundering over the Internet have been reported. Whether these sites have any relationship with drug trafficking is yet to be explored. The recent Indian case about cyber Lotto was very interesting.

In May 2000, the economic offences wing, IPR section crime branch of Delhi police registered its first case involving theft of Internet hours. In this case, the accused, Mukesh Gupta an engineer with Nicom System (p) Ltd. was sent to the residence of the complainant to activate his Internet connection. However, the accused used Col. Bajwa’s login name and password from various places causing wrongful loss of 100 hours to Col.

Delhi police arrested the accused for theft of Internet time. On further inquiry in the case, it was found that Krishan Kumar, son of an ex-army officer, working as a senior executive in M/s Highpoint Tours & Travels had used Col Bajwa’s login and passwords as many as 207 times from his residence and twice from his office.

He confessed that Shashi Nagpal, from whom he had purchased a computer, gave the login and password to him. The police could not believe that time could be stolen. They were not aware of the concept of time-theft at all. The Commissioner of Police, Delhi then took the case into his own hands and the police under his directions raided and arrested Krishan Kumar under sections 379, 411, 34 of IPC and section 25 of the Indian Telegraph Act.

In another case, the Economic Offences Wing of Delhi Police arrested a computer engineer who got hold of the password of an Internet user, accessed the computer and stole 107 hours of Internet time from the other person’s account. He was booked for the crime by a Delhi court in May 2000. Cops are solving the cases which are local and have some clues but from unknown attacks, one needs patience and cops need a lot of time and legwork. The only thing that can prevent you is being smart while sharing your details online. Since then by the time 2021 arrived the cyber crime cases have gone classic. But there is no catch to pull them.


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Vaidehi Taman
Vaidehi Taman
Vaidehi Taman an Accredited Journalist from Maharashtra is bestowed with three Honourary Doctorate in Journalism. Vaidehi has been an active journalist for the past 21 years, and is also the founding editor of an English daily tabloid – Afternoon Voice, a Marathi web portal – Mumbai Manoos, and The Democracy digital video news portal is her brain child. Vaidehi has three books in her name, "Sikhism vs Sickism", "Life Beyond Complications" and "Vedanti". She is an EC Council Certified Ethical Hacker, OSCP offensive securities, Certified Security Analyst and Licensed Penetration Tester that caters to her freelance jobs.
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