aharashtra Police and the government are making every effort to address cyber crime related complaints. Lodging complaints relating to cyber crimes will be a lot easier now. One has to simply walk into the nearest police station to lodge a complaint regarding bank card fraud or hacking for instance. Every city police station has a separate cyber crime cell. Earlier, everyone had to rush at a lone cyber crime police station at Bandra-Kurla Complex. Anyway, this sounds very interesting but the reality is not that comfortable. To improve cyber detection and to improve conviction rate, the police department has put up a proposal to the state government to set up a separate cyber court, but unfortunately the interpreters of law are not cyber crime experts; so, how the crime happened, which method, from which IP and type of attack to forensics of it, would be a new challenge for the lawyer and the judge both. The move to have a cyber crime cell at each police station was initiated by police due to the rise in the number of white collar crimes and a shortage of staff at the only cyber police station, but the irony is that the staffs are not well updated or trained. That is the reason that the cyber crime is not easily detected.
Ours is the country where 75 per cent of infrastructure is gone online, the next war would be cyber war and we need to be prepared for it or else India can stall back to ten years if we get cyberspace attacked. We need to be worried about the sharp rise in the number of cyber crime cases in the state and law enforcement agencies’ inability to bring the crooks to book. The government drafted a plan to deploy nearly 1,000 sub-inspectors to tackle cyber crime. But for that, the police needs additional manpower. Looking at the geographical conditions of state and especially Mumbai, there is a scarcity of police personnel. The police department needs manpower and infrastructure. Police personnel are not provided with adequate training and there is a need for information technology experts to halt cyber crime. Then Congress and now BJP are on the same path, they both just made announcements but never worked on the issues. Currently, a senior police inspector has the power to take action under the IT Act. Constables are just not aware of the subject itself.
The Maharashtra CM asked the police to increase monitoring of the social media; special squads dedicated to investigate cyber crimes were supposed to be operational in each of the 93 police stations in Mumbai. These cyber squads aim to take the load off the existing two cyber police stations, as well as allowing citizens to lodge cyber crime complaints at the closest police station. Fadnavis said that social media labs had to be better equipped to increase their efficiency. He added that acquisition of advanced monitoring systems would be funded. The government is also in the process of identifying tech-savvy officers across the city for our cyber squads, but since ages, this never-ending search is on. At present, cyber crime cases are largely probed by the Cyber Police Station in Bandra-Kurla Complex and the Cyber Crime Investigation Cell located in Crawford Market, which are specially equipped to probe cyber crimes. At present, police stations are dependent on help from cyber police stations and the cybercrime investigation cells that provide technical assistance. They are not self-sufficient to deal with the issues on their own capacity.
Cyber crime has become a big menace not just in the state, but also across the country. The state was earlier planning to rope in Nasscom to set up a ‘Cyber Force’ comprising 1,000 qualified professionals, who will be posted in cyber crime labs at the district level. This trained personnel will help the cops crack crimes in the world of internet and ensure the conviction of the criminals. To ensure gathering of evidence in a scientific manner, the government needs to set up a network of mobile forensic labs at every police commissionerate. But nothing yet happens, all these promises remained in files and police force is not capable of dealing with virtual crime.
With increasing use of information technology (IT) enabled services such as e-governance, online business, and electronic transactions, protection of personal and sensitive data have assumed paramount importance. It’s high time this government should act swiftly towards improvising cyber crime cell and secure people from cyber crime.
Rising at an alarming rate, the number of cyber crimes in the country may double in the coming years and could pose serious economic and national security challenges. The increasing use of smartphones and tablets for online banking and other financial transactions have increased risks. India has emerged as a favourite among cyber criminals, mostly hackers and other malicious users who use the internet to commit crimes such as identity theft, spamming, phishing and other types of fraud. As per the study’s findings, a total number of cyber crimes registered during 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 stood at 13,301, 22,060, 71,780 and 1,49,254 respectively.
Cybersecurity is a “Cat and Mouse” game, the IT admin managing a network or server has to keep him updated and the computers. Same goes for the people working in that office or home. But most IT admins in the government sector are government employees and hired on a basis other than the qualification. These then do what all the government employees do best. Instead, this should be outsourced to some private Indian company. Secondly, any security company will tell you this, if there is confidential data then do-not-connect that machine to the internet, period. But in a large organization where office are far away and need to access the data, then allow only that which is required, and that took over secured layer.
Education is important for any government officer. Also, understand that a determined attacker will be able to break in. First, let us make the real space safe. We should worry about imaginary stuxnet’s attacking our installations after sorting out real threats of a mundane kind that take aim at our country, which are poverty, tiny mean microbes, and above all, real education in its true sense. If we work on this, the youngsters of today who are now coding their youth away for money, will take care of stuxnets and bigger threats, and not let graying men in suits worry about them. The Indian government seems to have a problem with freedom. The Internet gives people freedom and the Indian government doesn’t like it. The Indian public is not concerned with the likes of STUXNET to their public utilities when a rain shower can cause a power cut. The only problem for individuals is to identity theft when thieves are using other people’s identities to obtain goods and services. Other countries in Asia use and embrace the internet but in India, there is fear. The government is in the process of putting in place the capabilities and the systems that will enable us to deal with this anarchic new world of constant and undeclared cyber threat, attack, counter-attack, and defence. We need to prepare ourselves to deal with both, threats to cyberspace and risks arising through cyberspace.
(Any suggestions, comments or dispute with regards to this article send us on [email protected])