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Increased online activities raise risk of cyber crime, says Rajnath Singh
By TOG News Service
Mar 14, 2018

TOG News Service, NEW DELHI, MAR 14, 2018: THE Union Home Minister, Mr Rajnath Singh, today urged the police forces and various security agencies to work together to overcome threats posed by cyber crimes. Addressing the gathering on the occasion of the Asia-Pacific Regional Conference of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the Minister stated that while cyber-dependency had increased with the increase in provision of digital-based services, the same had also increased the vulnerability of civilian and military infrastructure to cyber attack.

Thereby in this regard, the Mr Singh identified some relevant essential key drivers, such as threats through internet, cyber security and cyber crimes for deliberation in this conference. He drew attention to how internet had in the present day become the preferred mode of communication, and had evolved to become a backbone for financial transactions, social activities and is a bridge between the people and government. Mr Singh also stated that the Government took digitalization to a new level by providing digital based services in many sectors to its countrymen.

He further stated that in such a fast-paced environment, computer-based technologies were increasingly being used in various activities, ranging from a home security system to complex nuclear power plants and space programmes. Hence in such widespread cyber-dependency, the vulnerability to attacks against both civilian and military infrastructures had concurrently increased. He drew attention to malicious activities such as network outages, data compromised by hackers, computer malware and other cyber related incidents and crimes. Mr Singh then reiterated that as the number of computers, mobile users, digital applications and data-networks were increasing day by day, so did the opportunities for exploitation.

In this regard, he stated that Government departments and ministries, Defence forces, corporations, financial institutions, utility services, hospitals and other businesses, collected, processed and stored massive amounts of sensitive information on systems and transmit data across networks. Thereby, he stated that considering the growing volume and sophistication of cyber attacks, such sensitive information needed protection. Mr Singh acknowledged the presence of many risks, some more serious than others, such as viruses, computer hacking, pilferage of data and stealing of credit card information, but then the risks posed by them could be mitigated by taking precautions. He further drew attention to the rise in cashless transactions, which had become a new target for cyber criminals. Thus Mr Singh emphasized upon the need to develop fool-proof software, particularly in the Banking Sector and effectively address the loopholes that have recently exposed.

Mr Singh further highlighted how across the nations, many cyber criminals used technologies like darknet, proxy servers, and The Onion Router (TOR) services to hide their identity. Further, extensive use of VoIP, caller ID spoofing, use of crypto currencies, encrypted channel for communication, and use of social media had virtually created syndicates of criminals. He further drew attention to another pressing problem, of religious radicalisation and extemism online. He stated that online radicalisation was not merely a law and order problem, and availability of such radicalised materials on the nternet would drastically change society and humanity.

Hence Mr Singh stated that to counter all these problems and improve connectivity with the outer world, the police had to make a paradigm shift. He also highlighted the low levels of trust that the public had in the police forces, especially amongst socially weaker section, economically poor, minority groups, women, elderly and children. Police forces need to be more democratised. He concluded by offering his best regards to the police force.