Lack of international cooperation helping cybercriminals, says official

India's existing cybersecurity policy of 2013 has been proposed to be revised as per the recommendations of a task force submitted to the government last year

Sourabh Lele New Delhi

Cybercriminals are taking advantage of the lack of cooperation between countries and international laws to help investigative agencies in solving cases of cross-border cyberattacks, a senior government official said on Monday.
Lt Gen (Retd.) Dr Rajesh Pant, the National Cyber Security Coordinator of India said cyber criminals were operating like a proper business enterprise and some of them have even appointed negotiators to ask for ransom. “As far as the World Economic Forum is concerned, it is consistently being said that cybercrime is the biggest man-made risk to the economic progress of nations. Last year, the total loss was estimated to be $6 trillion – that is the scale at which we are talking of.”

According to Pant, the ongoing war in Eastern Europe, weaponization of technology and interdependence by some nations has split the internet in silos. “It took the United Nations 20 years to come up with 11 non-binding norms of responsible behaviour of states in cyberspace,” Pant said while speaking at the India Digital Summit, being organised here by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), in association with Google and MessageBird.
India’s existing cybersecurity policy of 2013 has been proposed to be revised as per the recommendations of a task force submitted to the government last year. The policy is currently being reviewed by the Prime Minister’s office. “We hope it comes at the earliest because that covers the entire ecosystem of cybersecurity,” Pant said.

He added that currently there are no international laws and regulations which help the agencies for solving cybercrimes. The national cybercrime portal receives over 3,500 complaints every day.
“Every day we get on our cybercrime portal and these are the people who are aware that such a portal exists. I am sure the number of people losing money and not aware as to where to report is at least two to three times more,” he said.

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Agencies were facing increasing challenges as cybercriminals hire virtual machines in any data centre in any corner of the world to dodge the agencies from tracing them. Pant said the bad actors were taking advantage of strong privacy laws in democratic countries as a shield from the investigators.
“He knows that I may not get the details of whoever has hired that VPS… So at least the like-minded nations like ours, the US, Australia, and various nations in the EU have got together and created an international counter ransomware task force.”

First Published: Feb 20 2023 | 11:16 PM IST

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