Cyber Warriors

“Cyber warriors are computer experts who use their knowledge of information technology to wage war in cyberspace. They can be civilians or military personnel, and can be employed by governments, military organizations, or private companies,”

In India, cybercrime can be defined as unauthorized access to some computer system without the permission of the rightful owner or place of criminal activity and include everything from online cracking to denial of service attacks. Phishing, Spoofing, DoS (Denial of Service) attacks, credit card fraud, online transaction fraud, cyber defamation, child pornography, etc.

According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), from 12,317 cases of cybercrime in 2016, there were 50,035 cases registered in 2020. In 2022 India Witnessed 13.91 lakh cases of cyber attacks. 120 crore population of India has internet access with a very low level of awareness.

Why India is vulnerable to Cyberattacks?

●  In India, cybercrime is increasing with the increased use of information and communication technology (ICT).Growing digital reliance in the post-COVID era has exposed digital disparities.

●  Low digital literacy among the general public and digital gaps among nations create an unsustainable environment in the cyber domain.

●  Lack of coordination among nations. Cybercrime can be done through multiple locations from outside India. There is a lack of coordination among nation-states.

●  Lack of infrastructure and training of Police officers and staff dealing with cyber attacks in India.

●  Issues related to data protection laws and Data localization.

Initiatives taken by the Government to tackle the problems related to Cyberspace

●  Information Act, 2000: The Information Act, 2000 (amended in 2008) is the primary law for dealing with cybercrime and digital commerce in India.

●  National Cyber Security Policy, 2013: The policy provides the vision and strategic direction to protect national cyberspace.

●  The CERT-In (Cyber Emergency Response Team – India): CERT-In has been operational since 2004. It is the national nodal agency for responding to computer security incidents as and when they occur.

●  Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (I4C): The Union Government has decided to set up 14C. It will be an apex coordination centre to deal with cybercrimes.

Cyber Swachhta Kendra: Launched in early 2017, the Cyber Swachhta Kendra provides a platform for users to analyse and clean their systems of various viruses, bots/ malware, Trojans, etc.

●  Cyber Surakshit Bharat: Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, launched the Cyber Surakshit Bharat initiative to spread awareness about cybercrime and building capacity for safety measures for Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) and frontline IT staff across all government departments.

●  The Cyber Warrior Police Force: In 2018, the government announced its plans to introduce CWPF. It is proposed to be raised on lines of the Central Armed Police Force (CAPF).

●  Cybercrime Prevention against Women & Children Scheme: Implemented by the Ministry of Home Affairs, the scheme aims to prevent and reduce cyber crimes against women and children.

●  BIS guidelines: The broad guidelines for the identification, collection, acquisition and preservation of digital evidence issued by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) is fairly comprehensive and easy to comprehend for both the first responder (who could be an authorised and trained police officer of a police station) as well as the specialist (who has specialised knowledge, skills and the abilities to handle a wide range of technical issues). The guidelines, if followed meticulously, may ensure that electronic evidence is neither tampered with nor subject to spoliation during the investigation.

Way Forward

●  Need for localisation: Most cyber crimes are transnational in nature with extra-territorial jurisdiction. The collection of evidence from foreign territories is not only a difficult but also a tardy process. Therefore, ‘data localisation’ must feature in the proposed Personal Data Protection law so that enforcement agencies are able to get timely access to the data of suspected Indian citizens.

●  The Centre and States must not only work in tandem and frame statutory guidelines to facilitate the investigation of cybercrime but also need to commit sufficient funds to develop much-awaited and required cyberinfrastructure.

●  The critical infrastructure managers should also be well-trained in cyber warfare and well-equipped with all the technologies for isolating viruses and attacks.

●  Upgrade cyber labs: the cyber forensic laboratories of States must be upgraded with the advent of new technologies.

●  Open at least Two Cyber police stations in every district of India having technically qualified staff. Create awareness among people through different channels.