IG (special branch) SN Pradhan and chief technical officer of CDRC Vineet Kumar (left) with the recognition certificate and plaque in Ranchi on Thursday. (Prashant Mitra)
Jharkhand police has been recognised as one of the top three forces in the country with expertise in the field of cyber security, giving a boost to its fledgling Cyber Defence Research Centre (CDRC).
The state police was awarded a letter of recognition and a plaque during the Nasscom-Data Security Council of India (DSCI) Annual Information Security Summit in Mumbai on December 11.
Addressing newsmen, IG (special branch) S.N. Pradhan who heads the CDRC, said on Thursday, “This means our cyber centre has now been bracketed in the same category as the National Investigation Agency and Karnataka police. They are believed to boast the best cyber defence and research facilities in the country.”
The concept of CRDC was first mooted in Jharkhand three years ago. In 2010, it began taking formal shape, run from the state police headquarters in Dhurwa, Ranchi.
Pradhan said the cell in a short span had contributed immensely in security initiatives concerning the state as well as the nation.
Some of its achievements so far are cracking ATM skimming cases in cities, including Ranchi and Jamshedpur, tracking threat e-mails to UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and finance minister P. Chidambaram and cases of cyber bullying, mobile thefts, fake lottery schemes, et al.
“Our focus was clear right from the start — we wanted to engage equally in research and creating awareness and training our security forces as well as ordinary people. So, we also started parallel programmes such as e-raksha and various capacity building measures,” said Pradhan, adding that CRDC’s chief technical officer Vineet Kumar had been instrumental in making the cell a success, along with other cyber experts.
Awareness among people about cyber crime has steadily grown in two years.
“Nowadays, we receive four to five cases related to various cyber crimes per day. This is a good sign,” said Kumar.
Pradhan, however, pointed out that the majority still dithered in coming forward to register formal cases.
“People approach us with cyber problems, but when we ask them to lodge formal complaints they pull back. We fail to understand why. This needs to change,” said Pradhan.
The IG pointed out that the state police was also aiming to launch a cyber forensic laboratory next year.
“The laboratory will be meant to detect the hardware used while committing the crime and investigate other parameters so that physical evidence can be furnished in court. This is lacking in the state. DSCI and Nasscom have a scheme that funds laboratories. They have also agreed to fund the plan. The ministry of home affairs, DSCI and Nasscom are jointly working in this regard. Once the modalities are chalked out, we will be the first state to formally place the proposal,” said Pradhan.
CDRC also floated a toll-free number (1800-345-6533) on Thursday for lodging complaints about cyber crime. Kumar said the number would initially be a helpline that would be later linked to e-samadhan, an online complaint portal that was launched by Jharkhand police earlier this year.
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