‘Cyber crime threatening India’

March 17th, 2010 - 10:45 am ICT by IANS  

By Syed Zarir Hussain
Guwahati, March 17 (IANS) Cyber crime is the latest threat to India’s security with those inimical to its interests hiring experts to spy on companies and vital networks, says famous ethical hacker Sunny Vaghela.

“There has been an increase of 200 percent in cyber crime cases in India in the last three years and that is an alarming trend,” said Ahmedabad-based Vaghela, director of TechDefence Pvt. Ltd, a reputed cyber crime security consultant.

“The new tactics are more towards data theft like espionage on some other companies, working for some foreign intelligence agencies sitting in India, SMS and mobile call forging,” Vaghela told IANS.

Vaghela was in Guwahati for a demonstration on cyber crime security measures at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) here.

At the age of 18, Vaghela found loopholes like “Session Hijacking” & “Cross Site Scripting” in popular social networking website orkut.com.

Today, at 23, he has solved more than 16 cases in association with the Ahmedabad police’s crime branch, tracing out the origin of a terror e-mail relating to the Ahmedabad serial explosions, and helped Mumbai Police get information on Jamat-ud-Dawah post-26/11.

“Take the Ahmedabad serial explosions and the threat mail where a Yahoo engineer was involved. Big names and people are today indulging in cyber crimes with people from abroad outsourcing Indians spying on Indian networks,” Vaghela said.

“Cyber crime today is not restricted to just hacking and goes much beyond to data theft, to social network and credit card fraud, SMS and mobile hacking as well.”

Vaghela said the biggest worry is that officials of Indian investigating agencies are not competent enough to deal with techno crimes.

“Investigating agencies are still lagging behind in terms of technologies or techniques to actually tackle cyber crimes. Not even two percent of the officials know what is Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), its use or how to take precautions,” Vaghela said.

He said the hacking of mobile numbers and for making calls and sending SMS is another area of concern.

“Anyone can use or misuse a mobile number to send SMS or make a call. This technology was misused in the 26/11 bombings. But all the servers and the infrastructure required to commit this cyber crime is not available in India,” he said.

“The Indian IT law is not defined to tackle such crimes using mobile phones and that is dangerous.”

Vaghela said social networking sites are not at all safe and hackers exploit and misuse vital information from such sites for indulging in crime.

“Social networking sites are not at all safe. People are revealing lots and hackers use and misuse such information from such sites,” he said.

(Syed Zarir Hussain can be contacted at zarir.h@ians.in)

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