‘Cyber warrior’

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    In Context

    •  ‘Cyber Warrior’ Teams and Help Desks to Combat Rising Cybercrime in Visakhapatnam.

    About

    • During the year 2022, visakhapatnam had reported as many as 610 cybercrime cases, as against 316 during the year 2021, which is almost a 93% increase.
    • To combat the rise in cybercrime, all police stations in the city will soon have exclusive ‘cyber warriors’ teams to handle such cases.
    • Additionally, cybercrime help desks will be set up in all police stations within the next two months.

    What are Cyber Warriors?

    • As part of the initiative, around 70 police personnel, including around 20 sub-inspectors and several ASIs will be undergoing virtual and offline training on various aspects of cybercrime.
    • The cyber warriors team will be headed by a Sub-Inspector and staff.
    • The personnel will be trained on various aspects of cybercrime cases being reported, including the modus operandi of cyber fraudsters.
    • The police are planning to introduce the cyber sentinel concept in which at least one person in each colony or area will be trained with basic skills to handle cybercrime and create awareness among people.
    • Personnel will also be trained in technical skills to launch immediate communication with data operators and bank authorities after a cybercrime is committed.
    • The aim is to freeze accounts or stop money transfers and retrieve call data records to prevent money from being transferred to fraudsters.

    Cybercrime in India: (NCRB Report)

    • India reported nearly 52,974 cybercrime incidents in 2021 which was an increase of nearly 6% from 2020.
    • Telangana was the state with the highest number of cybercrime cases, accounting for more than 19% of the total.
    • Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka saw a decrease in the number of cybercrime cases by 20% and 24%, respectively.
    • The main challenges in prosecuting cybercrime cases are jurisdictional issues and difficulty in obtaining electronic logs from foreign service providers.
    • Bengaluru had the highest number of cybercrime cases, but there has been a decline in cases over the past three years.
    • Fraud was the most common motive for committing cybercrime, accounting for nearly 61% of cases.
    • Karnataka recorded the highest number of cybercrimes against women in 2021, with 2,243 cases.
    • The police pendency percentage in cybercrime cases improved from 71.3% in 2020 to 56.4% in 2021.
    • The conviction ratio for cybercrime cases remains poor, and the charge-sheeting rate declined from 47.5% in 2020 to 33.8% in 2021.
    • The court pendency percentage remained high, with 81.4% of total cases in trial in 2021 remaining. pending at the end of the year.

    Challenges of Cybercrime

    • Lack of Awareness: Many people in India are still not aware of the risks associated with cybercrime, making them more vulnerable to attacks.
    • Low Cybersecurity Awareness: A large number of individuals and organizations in India lack basic cybersecurity awareness, making them easy targets for cybercriminals.
    • Rapidly Evolving Cyber Threat Landscape: Cybercrime is evolving at a rapid pace, with new threats emerging regularly. It is challenging for law enforcement agencies to keep up with these developments.
    • Limited Cybersecurity Infrastructure: India’s cybersecurity infrastructure is still developing, and many organizations do not have adequate security measures in place to protect their networks and data.
    • Increasing Use of Technology: With the widespread adoption of technology in India, more people are becoming vulnerable to cybercrime, making it even more challenging to combat.
    • Lack of Cybercrime Laws: India has outdated cybercrime laws that are not in line with current threats. There is a need for updated laws to be enacted to combat the ever-changing cybercrime landscape.

    Need for controlling cyber crimes in India

    • Increasing Digitalization: With the growing digitalization of India, more people are using online services and technology, which has led to an increase in cybercrime incidents.
    • Economic Impact: Cybercrime has a significant economic impact on India, with losses amounting to billions of dollars annually. The country is also losing out on potential investments due to concerns about cybersecurity.
    • National Security: Cybercrime can have severe consequences for national security, as it can compromise sensitive information and infrastructure, leading to potential political instability.
    • Personal Privacy: Cybercrime can violate personal privacy, leading to identity theft, financial fraud, and other forms of cyberstalking.
    • Cyber Security Jobs: With the growing importance of cybersecurity, there is a need for skilled professionals in the field, creating job opportunities in India.
    • Digital India Initiative: The Indian government’s Digital India initiative aims to transform India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy. However, cybercrime can hinder the initiative’s progress and undermine public trust in digital technologies.

    Laws governing Cybercrime in India

    • Information Technology Act, 2000: This is the primary law governing cybercrime in India. The act provides legal recognition for electronic transactions, penalties for cybercrime, and procedures for handling cybercrime investigations and prosecutions.
    • Indian Penal Code (IPC): The IPC has provisions for dealing with cybercrime, including identity theft, online stalking, hacking, and dissemination of obscene materials.
    • Aadhaar Act, 2016: This law regulates the use of Aadhaar, a biometric identification system, and provides penalties for unauthorized access or misuse of Aadhaar information.
    • Copyright Act, 1957: This law protects intellectual property rights, including copyrights, patents, and trademarks, and provides penalties for cybercrime related to intellectual property theft.
    • Right to Information Act, 2005: This law empowers citizens to access information from public authorities and provides penalties for cybercrime related to unauthorized access to public information.
    • Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002: This law aims to prevent money laundering and provides penalties for cybercrime related to money laundering activities.

    Way ahead

    • Cybercrime is a crucial issue in India due to its economic, national security, and personal privacy implications. 
    • It is necessary to take proactive steps to combat cybercrime and create a safe and secure digital environment in the country.
    • In this regard, Cyber warriors are significant especially when India ranks fifth globally in terms of the number of incidents reported.

    Source: TH