State police headquarters in Ranchi where the Cyber Defence Research Centre is located
The fledgling Cyber Defence Research Centre (CDRC), an anti-cyber crime cell under Jharkhand police, has hit a block far away in the US.
The centre, that has been rendered ineffective after its chief technical officer (CTO) Vineet Kumar left for the US for higher studies last month, is now. scouting for an expert who will handle day-to-day operations, research and ensure cyber safety across Jharkhand.
Though Kumar has promised to come back and serve the cyber defence wing, sources said the CRDC was planning to recruit a new man.
“We are not going to allow him to rejoin once he returns. Because many in the department are of the opinion that Kumar has done nothing good to CDRC. Moreover, he is not trained enough,” said a senior police officer on Sunday.
What the former CTO did during his five-year tenure at CDRC, added the officer, wasn’t what he was supposed to do.
“Listing a few dos and don’ts while using Facebook, gmail etc is not the job of a CTO. Kumar could hardly crack any threat case, or do anything to identify and solve vulnerabilities. Jobs as banal as tracking down a few spam mails and identifying fake Facebook users are something that even the CID, which is not equipped with sophisticated software, does,” he added.
State police spokesperson Anurag Gupta, an IG rank officer, said that soon they put out advertisements for a permanent state cyber expert. “After our earlier CTO got released for higher studies, we are taking help of Devbrat Nayak, an expert from NIC. But this is a temporary arrangement,” he added.
Neither CRDC head Rezi Dungdung nor his predecessor S.N. Pradhan (he is now additional director-general of CID) as well Rezi Dungdung did not take calls despite numerous attempts.
The idea of CDRC was first mooted five years ago. It began taking formal shape from 2010. Currently, it is run out of the state police headquarters at Dhurwa.
CRDC was awarded a letter of recognition and a plaque during the Nasscom-Data Security Council of India Annual Information Security Summit in Mumbai on December 11, 2012.
Pradhan had then claimed that the cyber centre was in the same league as National Investigation Agency and Karnataka police.
Among the cyber cell’s achievements are cracking ATM skimming cases, tracking threat mails to UPA chairperson Soni Gandhi and finance minister P. Chidambaram and busting fake lottery schemes.