In response to the increased rate of cyber attack cases, the Government of India has decided to expose the police to computer intelligence to trace and identify perpetrators in cyberspace. The government has also decided to hire geeks who will be tasked to go undercover on the dark web to combat cybercrime.
According to a source, the Union Territories and the Director Generals of the Police were responsible for the recruitment of the cyber experts. These special cyberspace hawkers would possibly be operating from the cyber police unit. A source revealed that the decision was influenced by the many unsuccessful attempts by law enforcement agencies to deal with darknet criminals successfully.
The information gathered shows that the computer experts will primarily be in charge of gathering intelligence, and diving deeper into the anonymous world to identify individuals behind the operation of cyber-attacks that have cost the country millions already in lost efforts.
Apart from their primary roles, these “cyber nerds” will trace drug criminals, credit card frauds, child pornographers, human traffickers, weapon traffickers and any other perpetrators on the online black market.
An IPS officer said to reporters that the new police unit will provide cyber terrorism knowledge to the ground team as well. The Cadre team will also ensure that terrorism activities are dealt with. “Terrorism holds an agenda often religious, cultural, social, economic and political. Also, terrorist organizations are promoting the use of computing expertise to radicalize and recruit members to carry out acts of violence; the job of the IT cadre would be to trace the recruiters,” he said.
On the discussion of terrorism and the dark web, Rajnath Singh, the Home Affairs Minister recently drew the attention of the government with the need to set up a monitoring unit that would assist with any threat on the internet and social media.
Recently, India implemented a “National Information Security Education & Awareness programme” to train police officers from over 1,000 police stations in Karnataka to help to combat crimes on the dark web. The programme was designed to train the police on internet investigation and cyber forensics. As part of cybercrime warfare, the State designed a short term goal of establishing at least a cybercrime station for each district. Four new police stations and 186 police officers have also been established in Mumbai on the same course. The earlier cybercrime training has helped to deal with 69,539 cases between April 2017 and February 2018.
Cybercrime Cases on the Rise in India
According to recent statistics, cybercrime has increased 40 percent in India for the past two years. Statistics show a pattern of annual increases in cyber fraud cases in the country. In 2012, the country recorded 22,060 cyber fraud cases. This numbers increased to 71,780 in 2013. Hacking cases which have also been on the rise have a pattern of annual increases too. In 2011, the country recorded a total of 21,699 in 2011, and 27,605 in 2012. As of June 2018, the cybercrime cases stood at 62,189. A Ministry of Home Affairs Official said to reporters that the growing economy has attracted cybercriminals operating from all directions.
On a separate scheme, the Ministry of Home Affairs announced its intention to train 27,000 police officers and focus on the reduction of cyber-attacks against women and children. A similar scheme was initiated last year to train police to crackdown on cyber fraud. The government has also put measures in place to spread cybercrime awareness to citizens.
In a recent Cybercrime Survey Report, only 50 percent of institutions in the country made cyber-security a priority. As part of the government’s agenda, the awareness programme and the police training has been said to be a regular initiative in collaboration with the ministries concerned with cybercrime.
It is expected that this program will help reduce the high annual cases of cyber-attacks in the country.