We must stay ahead of the evolving threat of cybercrimes
We are alarmed at the way cybercrimes are rising and evolving in the country, making the cyberspace increasingly risky for its users. Reportedly, criminals are using advanced technologies, new platforms and novel techniques to extort and harass people in the cyberspace. As the patterns of crimes have evolved, so have the criminals. Although many criminal groups were arrested by our law enforcers in the recent past, we wonder whether their efforts are enough or evolving equally to deal with the wide range of crimes taking place in our cyberspace.
According to officials working at the Cyber Police Centre of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), while they used to receive around 1,500 cybercrime complaints every month on an average in the past, the number has now risen to 2,500. And the Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC) has estimated that an average of 169 cybercrime cases were filed every month in 2020 – under four different acts – and the figure rose to 194 in 2021. These figures, however, do not reflect the actual depth or range of the crimes being committed, including cyber stalking, profile hacking, cyber bullying, dating scams, information theft, cyber terrorism, etc. It is because the victims often lodge complaints only as a last resort.
Reportedly, hackers are using different "voice changing software" to turn male voices into female ones, which they use to find their targets on various messaging apps. Criminals were also found using alert notifications from banks to extort people. A group of criminals have reportedly hacked bKash accounts using a loophole in the iPhone's operating system. Every time new arrests are made, we get to know about the novel techniques used by criminal groups. Even foreign nationals were found to be involved in such crimes. We are particularly worried about the fact that different terrorist outfits are using the cyberspace for encrypted communication, motivating and recruiting new members, providing training, collecting funds and also for claiming terrorist attacks, as found by the CTTC. We definitely need increased monitoring here.
While we acknowledge the efforts our law enforcers have made so far to arrest the criminals in cyberspace, we think they do need to be proactive to stay ahead of them and to deal with the ever-evolving threats of cybercrimes. Rather than acting after receiving complaints, they must remain alert all the time to prevent such crimes using sophisticated technologies. Besides, internet and mobile phone users must understand the gravity of the situation and take precaution accordingly. Meanwhile, banks and other financial institutions should also install advanced technologies to protect their systems from being hacked.