The covid-19 crisis has turned out to be a gold mine for cybercriminals. Along with people, cybercriminals have also moved to the digital platform, leading to an alarming increase in the number of cybercrime cases. From 2000, the cases have increased to 4500 in just one month! To tackle such a concerning situation, traditional policing won’t suffice, instead, something dedicated specifically to such offences, such as cybercrime police stations, is the need of the hour- Anuraag Singh, top Cyber Expert in India.
Cyber Crime Police Stations: A National Emergency
When any kind of crime happens, whether it is in the online or physical world, our first reflex is to report it to our nearby police station. But, what happens when the people whom we considered as our savior don’t take us seriously and refuse to lodge our complaints, saying they have more serious cases to handle?
These kinds of scenarios, where the public was sent back from the police station have occurred several times. This would have been avoided if the police officers had the option of referring the victims to a center dedicated only for that purpose.
Even though there are cyber cells present in most districts of the country, they are not sufficient to handle the accelerating cases of cybercrime in the country. Thus, moving in this direction, a step to mitigate the cybercrime cases, the Commissioner of Police Rakesh Asthana decided to launch dedicated cyber-crime police stations in 15 districts of Delhi.
Recently, the home minister of Haryana Anil Vij also announced that all the districts of Haryana will also have their own cyber-crime police station. (Gurugram, Panchkula, and Faridabad already have their own cyber-crime police stations)
“With the launch of 15 cybercrime police stations, Delhi Police have done a great initiative. These stations will help in keeping the officers on duty focused on dealing cybercrimes specifically and will not be engaged in law and order duties”, says Cyber Expert Anuraag Singh.
Role of Cyber Crime Police Stations
These cybercrime police stations will solely deal with cybercrime related issues. And a proper definition of working, statement of procedure, and responsibilities are laid down for the police personnel.
Working of these police stations include the following:
1. Positioning of IT experts and trained police officers at cyber-crime police stations to ensure that complaints are handled swiftly.
2. In the case of difficult and high-level investigations, IFSO can provide assistance and guidance. The cybercrime police stations will work alongside the IFSO unit. (The Intelligence Fusion and Strategic Operations (IFSO) unit have replaced the CyPAD.)
3. The police headquarters has sanctioned a budget of around 2 crore for each station to purchase forensic tools.
4. Around 38 people will be responsible to conduct the Investigations. The police station will be led by an official with the rank of assistant police commissioner, with assistance from three inspectors, eight sub-inspectors, and others.
There are several responsibilities of the cybercrime police stations, like:
- It will be the duty of the stations to ensure that complainants receive justice.
- The cyber police stations will be directly accountable to the district deputy commissioner of police.
- Providing technical support on complex situations such as digital forensics.
- Coordination and implementation of frequent cyber awareness initiatives for schoolchildren and other vulnerable populations of India.
- To investigate complaints involving a defrauded sum of fewer than ten lakhs.
There is a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) also released for the Police Stations that specifies a time frame for dealing with different kinds of complaints.
- For example, in cases of child pornography or exploitation of minors’ identities, it is essential to begin processing the complaint, contacting the victims, and alerting the internet service provider within 24 hours.
- In case the police do not discover enough evidence to register an FIR, the ‘action taken report’ must be filed within 14 days.
- For situations like online fraud or cheating, the investigating officer is allowed a week to investigate accusations, and the ‘action taken report’ must be produced within five weeks.
Challenges after Opening Cyber Crime Police Stations
“At present, the police force lacks trained officers and resources to deploy at cybercrime police stations. There are even officers who don’t know how to operate a computer,” said a senior Delhi Police Officer.
For the time being, policemen with an understanding of cybercrime and an IT background are stationed at cyber police stations. However, for the cybercrime police station project to be a full success, the staff assigned to it must be well-trained and competent enough to handle even the most complicated cybercrime cases. Unfortunately, this is a major void that we are seeing in Delhi Police today!
Anuraag Singh Building an Army of Technically Trained Police Officials
The problem of not having a technically competent police workforce has been addressed by Anuraag Singh since 2007.
Anuraag Singh, the Founder & CEO of SysTools, a cyber-expert and a digital forensics trainer has trained up to 6000+ members of Law Enforcement Agencies, Senior Officials from the Police Force, Armed and Security Forces. Now, he is looking forward to preparing Police Officers for the cybercrime police stations too and teaching them the first responder steps towards cybercrime.
There are several prestigious Government organizations whom Anuraag has prepared & skilled to shield the people of India from the looming cybercrimes, some of them are:
Cyber Crime investigation cell, CBI, New Delhi
Topic: Forensics and Financial Analysis of Soft data.
Sub-inspectors and Head constables under the DCP of North-East Delhi.
Topic: CDR analysis & Camp Reporting
CyPAD-NCFL and Cyber Crime Cell of Delhi Police.
For his training sessions, Anuraag prepares a proper course module for specific batches of officers and also shares it with them before the session. The different topics through which Anuraag Singh chalk talks the officers for combating cybercrimes are:
- CDR Analysis and Intelligence Gathering.
- Understanding Ethical hacking, Social Engineering & Foot printing.
- SQL Injection, Butter Flows, Denial of Services Attacks.
- Cyber Security- Concepts, Advance Threats, and many more.
- Basics to the advance of Data Recovery, Data Deletion, Data Wiping, File Carving, etc.
- Digital Forensics- Technical Terms, Identifying Digital Data Storage Devices And Acquisition From The Crime Scene, Examination Of Acquired Evidence.
- Creation of Court Acceptable Reports of Found Evidence
- Preparation and Submission of an Expert Report to the Court.
The installation of cybercrime police stations is not the ultimate goal; rather, it is to train police personnel to cope with the increasing number of cybercrime cases. We need more people like Anuraag Singh who have the expertise and are willing to share it with others to help India flourish.