How would you feel waking up from a nightmare, sweeting and panting, looking pale with fear gripping your senses? That is exactly what cyber crime feels like. Now what exactly is Cyber Crime? Spreading hate to Denial of service and misusing websites, causing harm to a person or a nation is what we call cyber crime. With Internet being widely used all around the world it is quite challenging for the cyber experts to keep in track of all such crimes. The terror of the unknown and mysterious cyber attacks are spreading worldwide effecting the mental health of the victims. Reports suggest that there are more than one cyber crime committed, every ten minutes. Bangalore topping the chart of cyber crime cases in India with more than thousand cases registered followed by Hyderabad, Kolkata, Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai.
Most of the times our email accounts are filled with spams and fake messages in order to get our personal information. Some claim to offer a job while some claim you have won a huge amount of money on a certain draw. Hacking social networking accounts of famous celebrities and well known personalities is also a common trend observed these days. There are several hackers hired by organisations and companies for security purpose while at the same time there are hackers who misuse information for financial gain, or to either test themselves in the field to expertise. Cyber stalking and bullying has been endangering the security of the people making them vulnerable to the threats and humiliation.There have been many frauds and identify thefts, violating the copyrights. The rising child pornography adding to the major concern of the cyber security.We see and hear many cases emerging almost everyday about how a student lost his life owing to the deadly Blue Whale game to Wannacry Ransomware attacking several computer systems, mobile phones and tablets.
Brain wave headsets which can control video games with the mind can be a real game changer and benefit the hackers to get the required information proving fatal for the users this way. Even the USB cables used now a days are vulnerable to leaking private information and passwords stored in the computer systems. “In a real-world attack, a hacker could facilitate the training step required for the malicious programme to be most accurate, by requesting that the user enter a predefined set of numbers in order to restart the game after pausing it to take a break, similar to the way CAPTCHA is used to verify users when logging onto websites,” said Saxena. Six minors were rescued from a suspected cyber sex den in Philippines on July 13th. When investigated the mother who was the prime suspect turned out to be game master “The content and consumers of child pornography are growing at a sharp rate. There are no exact statistics but our findings show that search engines get over 1,16,000 queries every day related to child pornography. The volume of such content can be estimated as every second around 380 people are looking for ‘adult’ content on search engines. Around 25 per cent of all search engine queries are related to pornography which will be about 68 million search queries a day,” said Kislay Chaudhary, director of the Indian Cyber Army. Blue Whale which has been attracting attention is not a normal game available in the app store, it is death trap which has already taken many lives in the name of challenges, physically and mentally haressing the victims before pushing them to the extreme. Alexander, a twenty two year old surviver who was recently rescued in Puducherry shared his agonising experience. His brother Ajith, who noticed some changes in his behaviour reported to the police on time to save him. “It is not an app or a game to be downloaded. It is just a link customised for individuals playing the game by the Blue Whale admin,” he said. The victim is now undergoing counselling sessions to recover from the trauma. There have been more than five deaths reported in India.With the terror of Blue whale spreading, there have been orientation to create awareness of the danger caused by the game.
Could this be prevented? Probably yes, only if we keep some things in mind. The use of an antivirus software and firewall to safeguard the computer or laptop must be the very first step. Keep your system upgraded always and do not accept friend requests from strangers on social networking sites like Facebook. Keep different passwords for different social networking accounts. Never go for the same password every time just because you forget it and it’s easy to remember a single password. Do not share your personal details or passwords publicly, with unknown websites or email address asking for it. Never save your credit card or debit card details in your phone or computer. It will be vulnerable and exposed to strangers if hacked. Use the two step verification when you create a email account like Gmail, Facebook or yahoo. This could just be a saviour when your account is in trouble or in wrong hands. Always keep a back up of the information, just in case if the prevention methods doesn’t work and the hacker detects a loophole. Before entering your card details while shopping online check for the locked padlock symbol or the broken key symbol in your browser address. A secure connection changes from ‘http’ to ‘https’ after login. If it fails to change, be wary of the site as it might not be as genuine as it seems.
Out of ten thousand cases reported in the cyber cell only about 34 are convicted so far. “We need more courts so that the cyber-crime cases are disposed of as soon as possible. As cases remain pending for years, to secure a conviction becomes more difficult. The conviction rate is low as there are several cases which have been compounded and others where the complainant withdraw their complaints.” Said Balsing Rajput.“There are three reasons for the poor performance. Officials are not well versed with cyber crimes and related stories.They send a weak charge sheet which does not stand court’s scrutiny. And many offences such as defamation are non-cognizable are investigated under the IT Act.” Said YP IPS officer turned-lawyer. Will this ever stop? How many more years until justice? For justice delayed is justice denied.
– Monisha Gupta
(Image source: Google)