Battling and controlling all types of crime – be it traditional crime or actual crime, in best of times is a challenging task. Elimination of crime in society of any hue and color is a utopian situation, one which all security agencies and communities aspire to achieve. But in reality this state is “rarely” if ever achievable. The situation in relation to cyber crime is no different. Add to this that this a technology based crime and the nitty-gritty of this technology is difficult for most citizens to understand, it becomes clear that tackling cyber crime is an even greater challenge than real world crime. This technology also changes with numbing regularity and this multiplies the challenges for containment (leave aside control)! This is the single largest factor which inhibits effective containment of cyber crime by the security apparatus in place today to do battle with this menace. But this by no means is the only factor. Let us analyze other important factors.
The second challenge is the anonymity that cyber world provides criminals in achieving their objectives. The person sitting next to you may be committing a cyber crime on you and you will not know it. This is ensuring that a large number of people are getting involved in the commission of such offences, people from decent backgrounds who know how to misuse technology for illegal gains – are turning cyber thugs. Crime can be virtually committed and there is a physical absence from the crime scene – this in encouraging a large number of otherwise law fearing citizens from turning crooked. They do not feel guilty of committing an offence as they do not physically take part in it. The fourth cause is that this crime is very easy to commit. Earlier if a criminal had to commit an offence he needed detailed planning and patient execution on one target at a time. But today technology has provided greater opportunity and ease to the criminals to commit
Article by: Varun Kapoor, IPS – ADG Narcotics & PRTS Indore (MP) Page 2 crimes with impunity and that too directed against thousands of targets at the same time! All they need is to make one fake email or one fake sms and send it to scores of unsuspecting targets. The all too common “Phishing” attack is executed with aplomb in such a case. Or they can call tens of thousands of innocent consumers and dupe them with threats, lures or emergencies – into their traps. This is the now very common “Vishing” attack. All the targets or consumers will not fall victim to their designs but a few will – that is all that the criminal needs. His job is done with great ease and he does not even have to approach his targets. The fifth reason for the mounting challenge posed by cyber crime is that it has become a “Low Risk & High Gain” kind of affair. The criminal is safely ensconced in a remote place and using technological tools and procedures he attacks his targets and so he is not putting himself to any physical danger while executing his heinous designs and when he succeeds (which is more often than not, considering the low levels of awareness in the community) he rakes in huge profits. Such an enterprise all crooked and warped individuals would gladly take up to make a fast buck.
The challenges are many and the solution needs to be found as soon as possible for the citizens of the land to feel safe and secure in the virtual world that they continue to inhabit in larger numbers for longer periods of time!
(To be continued)
The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of The Morung Express.