The Cyber Defence Research Centre office in Ranchi
Case#1: An online stranger is impersonating me and posting indecent pictures on a Facebook account that is purportedly mine. I have been fake profiled
Case#1: I am receiving messages from a Facebook account that I do not know. The person is bombing my wall with abuses. Help! I think I am being cyberstalked
Case#1: I have received an email saying I wanted a new Facebook password, but I did not make any such request. Has my mail been hacked?
Jharkhand’s netizens are sending distress signals by dozens to the Cyber Defence Research Centre (CDRC) in Ranchi.
Most grievances centre around cyberstalking, email hacking, fake social networking profiles, morphed MMS, vulgar texts sent to mobile phones from the Net and bizarre job offers.
The CDRC was formed in the capital in September 2011 and made operational in January last year. If officials are to be believed, the toll free number 18003456533 has been swamped with calls ever since. Complaints are also pouring in at the two portals — cdrc.jhpolice.gov.in and e-samadhan.jhpolice.gov.in.
On an average, five to six cases are registered every day, mostly from urban Ranchi, Jamshedpur, Dhanbad, Hazaribagh and Bokaro. The tormentors are usually male strangers in the age group of 16-25 years.
“A majority of cyber crime victims in recent times are young girls, sometimes women. Those with social networking profiles are more vulnerable to these attacks,” said Vineet Kumar, the chief technical officer of CRDC.
According to Kumar, the toll free helpline was prompting more victims to lodge complaints. “When our portals were launched early last year, cases came in a trickle — maybe, one in a day. However, ever since the phone line became active in December, more than half a dozen victims call or email daily. Some cases are also forwarded by SPs. People are standing up against cyber crime. Our hands are full,” he said.
Of the total number of cases registered every day, at least two involve fake profiling, usually on Facebook. “We, however, give priority to MMS cases. These are solved within four hours by removing the link. Dubious uploader profiles are also scrapped,” Kumar said.
The chief technical officer admitted that the cyber defence centre was receiving all help possible from respective district police. “An e-raksha campaign was started last year to sensitise the masses against online crimes. The campaign was extensively carried out in schools, colleges and workplaces with the help of police. The results, as you can see, are encouraging. Not only are victims lodging complaints, they are doing so methodically,” he added.
On how the centre was tackling this cyber crime flood, Kumar said they followed different technical strategies for different cases.
“For starters, we track the creator of say a fake Facebook profile through his computer’s IP address. Objectionable photographs are removed and the perpetrator’s future freedom of tour in virtual space restricted,” he explained.
A collaborative effort of the state administration and Jharkhand police’s special branch, the CDRC functions from the police headquarters in Ranchi. Its chief objective is to address cyber crime and threats.
Have you been a victim of cyber crime and received help?